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Enterprising student wins top YES Company award

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Captain Purple, with creator, Sarah Crosby from Top Energy, Northland YES Company of the Year, CS Productions.

Media Release
Kaikohe - Monday 19, October 2009

Enterprising Kamo High student wins top YES Company Award

An enterprising young Kamo High School student has won the prestigious Top Energy, Northland YES Company of the Year Award, at the Northland Young Enterprise Awards, held in Whangarei last Friday evening.

Sarah Crosby, the sole director of YES Company, CS Productions, took out the coveted Award by producing a series of children’s educational videos. Her DVDs feature Captain Purple, a larger-than-life, fluffy yellow character with monster-like eyes and bushy purple eyebrows.

Far North electricity generation and lines distribution company, Top Energy is sponsoring the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) for Northland secondary schools, in partnership with The Lion Foundation.

The Young Enterprise Awards are the culmination of the year-long experiential business education programme, where year 11 through 13 students form start-up companies, become directors and follow their own business plans to develop products/services which they market and sell. The students, as YES Company Directors, create real products and services, earn real money, pay real tax and hopefully make profits. It's not just an academic course, but a relevant and exciting experience which introduces students to the real business world and exposes them to possible future career options.

YES Northland is part of the broader Enterprise for Education Programme (E4E) supported by Enterprise Northland, to foster an enterprise culture in secondary schools, by focussing the curriculum in a way that students can see the relevance of their learning – and to help them develop into enterprising people.

Top Energy has long been a sponsor of various E4E Programme elements in the Far North region, but this is the first time the Company has sponsored an educational programme reaching the whole of Northland.

With 60 YES Companies, involving more than 200 students this year, Top Energy CEO, Russell Shaw, says the programme has been a real success. “We believe YES Northland is proving a powerful, hands-on learning experience for Northland’s young people. I’ve been present at various programme milestones during the year, including the Mid-Year Celebration and the Trade Fair and I’ve seen first-hand how students, as YES Company directors, have immersed themselves in a ‘real-life’ business environment. Not only have they demonstrated innovation and flair with their start-up ventures, they’ve coped well with the everyday challenges running a business presents. It teaches them about the ‘real’ world, about the challenges of running a successful business and it helps them develop enterprising minds”.

YES Company of the Year, CS Productions was originally set up by three students, but part-way through Term One, two of Sarah’s fellow directors decided to go their separate ways. Undaunted and totally committed to her business concept, she pressed on as sole director. Sarah enlisted the services of a professional filmmaker to help produce the DVDs. She also developed a marketing strategy, utilising colouring-in competitions, cookies and wall sculptures. Captain Purple also accompanied Sarah on promotional outings to local primary schools. Sarah sold her DVDs through her local community and on the free online auction portal, They cost $14.50, with $2 from every sale going to CanTeen, the New Zealand organisation supporting young people living with cancer.

CS Productions’ first DVD was called Captain Purple's Adventures in the Kitchen, which shows children how to make four different healthy food recipes. Sarah has plans to produce another three videos; Captain Purple's Adventures - Up Off the Couch (focusing on physical education), Captain Purple's Adventures - Arty Farty (art lessons) and Captain Purple's Adventures - Mini Einstein (science).

Sarah and Captain Purple will now travel to Wellington for the National YES Awards in November, where CS Productions will compete against other Regional Winners for the national title.

According to YES Northland Regional Co-ordinator, Sasha Webb the competition for the Top Energy, Northland YES Company of the Year Award was closely fought, with less than a couple of points separating the top three companies. Runner-up was FlagMe, from Roxburgh Area School, Central Otago and a very close third was MCNA from Bay of Islands College. The FlagMe team were part of an exciting new internet collaboration, where students get together via Telecom School Zone video conferencing technology in a ‘virtual YES classroom’, joined by students from Broadwood Area School and Tu Maia Sports Academy, in Kaitaia.

Other Northland Young Enterprise Awards category winners were:
FlagMe, Roxburgh Area School (NorthTec Award for Excellence in Business Management)

Happy Feet, Whangarei Girls’ High (Northern Advocate Award for Excellence in Business Management)

CS Productions, Kamo High School (Northpower Award for Excellence in Technology)

FlagMe, Roxburgh Area School (Gilmore Brown Award for Excellence in Financial Management)

Beadle, Otamatea High School (Archibald Mitsubishi Award for Excellence in Sales & Marketing)

MCNA, Bay of Islands College (Enterprise Northland Award for Excellence in Innovation)

Happy Feet, Whangarei Girls’ High (ASB Award for Service Excellence)

CS Productions, Kamo High School (David Templeton Award for Commitment)

FlagMe, Roxburgh Area School (Manaaki Solutions Award for Best Maori Business)


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