Our response to Covid-19






Monday, 23 March 2020.

A message to our YES teachers and students -

Kia ora all  

Like you, we are quickly trying to adapt following the announcement about NZ entering Level 4 and enforced self-isolation for everyone for at least four weeks.   


Some people have asked if they need to make a decision now about whether to do YES / pull out of YES.  Our answer is just HOLD FIRE.  We will absolutely be flexible and there is no need to make any decision till after we are out of Level 4 alert as a country! 


In terms of an update on you based on the questions we are already getting, or things we think you will ask: 


  1. Distance Learning.  We know teacher and students are scrambling right now to figure out what is possible with the new norm of total distance learning.  We have some things in place (YES Online through iQualify) and the ability to hold video calls with teams and individuals which will help.  We are actively working to see if there is anything we can add to this such as video lessons and we’ll come back to you shortly on this.   


  1. What if students don’t have internet?  We know that not all students have internet access at home and schools are trying to work through this.  We don’t an answer but have a group that are working on if we can help with a solution here for YES students.   


  1. What about credits?  We know that many of you use YES as a way of delivering business studies and assessing against the NCEA achievement standards.  We are actively working through how this can be made easier for you though obviously the ultimate decision about credits sits with NZQA who we hope to work with on this.  We are working to develop resources to support you and your YES students to earn credits remotely through YES. 


  1. What about the competition?  We are aware that Challenge 1 (product validation) and Challenge 2 (mid-year pitches) will need to change.  We will absolutely introduce some flexibility and bear with us as we as quickly as possible work through the options.  But be assured, we will make sure that we find a way to make completing each challenge accessible to all students in this changing time.  


  1. What about micro-credentials?  To achieve the micro-credential, you need to have completed the five challenges of the competition.  As we adjust that, we will ensure that this flows onto the micro-credential qualification. 


  1. Who can I contact from YES?  The entire YES team is still 100% here for you – just remotely.  All of our team are well-equipped to work from home and can do private or group calls with teachers and students.  In fact, they are itching to be able to support.  They will be reaching out to you, but feel free to call / video / email / message them at any time as well.  If you don’t have their contact details, you can find everyone on our website http://youngenterprise.org.nz/about-us/Also, keep connected to us on social media: 

Kia kaha. Stay strong everyone. 



Thursday, 19 March 2020.

A message to our YES teachers -


I hope you, your family and your students are keeping well during these challenging and unprecedented times. I can only imagine the pressure that is being put on you as teachers, and your schools.


I wanted to take his opportunity to update you on what is happening with YES in these times.  We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of our students, to you as a teacher and of course to our staff.  But we are also conscious that we don’t want students (or teachers) to miss out on important learning or exciting development opportunities. 


The following is a quick update of what is happening and the decisions that we have made to date.  But, like everyone, things are changing quickly and we are reassessing on a daily basis.


  • YES Registration – we know that these are uncertain times, and schools / students may not want to commit to anything that involves a cost just now.  As such, we are extended the deadline for YES registrations until 30th April.  If you do want to register, please CLICK HERE.

  • Online resources – we know that all schools are being asked by MoE about your capacity to do online learning and this is where the YES Online (iQualify) platform is really going to help.  I know many YES teachers are already familiar with this.  If not, this is a great time to get stuck in and if you have any questions or issues, please get in touch with your Roaming Teacher or YES HQ.

  • Resources to help YES students with Challenges 1 and 4 – we recognise that running a business in a period of social distancing adds extra challenges and this is true for our YES companies.  The biggest challenges are around validation (if you can’t run face to face focus groups) and selling (if your main channel was face to face such as at a market).  We are rapidly working to add some tips to the YES Online (iQualify) platform on “How to validate with social distancing” and we would encourage all teams to sell online, especially as our friends at Storbie allow YES companies to set up a free online store.

  • Supporting you and your students – with social distancing and the possibility of school closures, we want to make sure that you and your students still get the support you need from our Regional Coordinators and Roaming Teachers.  All of our team are set up to provide phone and video support, and in some cases have joked that with less time driving they will have more time to do “face to face” albeit across a video link. So, I encourage you to connect directly with your local team if you haven’t already to talk about how you would like to be supported during these times.  Each situation will be different depending on the situation with the individual school and the individual team member from Young Enterprise.

  • YES Challenge 1 Submission – ok, this is not about Covid-19 but we are starting to get questions.  My apologies for the delay in letting you know how to submit.  We’ve had a few technical niggles with the submission functionality in iQualify and the last thing we want is for you or your students to have issues.  Therefore, for Challenge 1, we will be taking submissions through a Wufoo form.  The team is just setting this up now and we will communicate again on Monday with a link to the form. 

  • YES Regional Workshops – your local regional coordinator will be in touch with you if you have one scheduled in the next month or two.  Most are being cancelled, but we are making decisions on a case by case basis.

  • YES Mid-Year Pitches – these are due to start in May, and who knows at this stage what the situation will be.  Therefore, all local teams are working through a few scenarios in preparation which may range from face to face pitching with social distancing, to taking pitches completely online.  We are aiming to make decisions on this by early April.

  • BP Business Challenges – we have been in touch with all schools scheduled with a BP Business Challenge between now and the end of April.  We will continue to assess this on a day to day basis and make decisions in conjunction with the schools involved. For schools that have a Challenge scheduled for early term 2, we will be in touch before the end of this term.

  • Rangatahi Business Challenge – we were just in the process of starting scheduling here and all were due to run between the end of Term 2 and early Term 4.  We will hold off confirming any dates for now but wanted to let everyone know we are still 100% committed to offering these in 2020.

  • Growing NZ Innovation Days – like the Rangatahi Business Challenge, dates for these had not been set yet as they generally run in the latter part of the year.  We will hold off confirming any dates for now but wanted to let everyone know we are still 100% committed to offering these in 2020.

  • EIA Weekend – while we hope that things will be settled by the end of June, we expect no one will want to commit to a weekend away by early April when applications are due to open.  We however are absolutely committed to still offering this fantastic learning and development opportunity to students and therefore are looking at POSTPONING this event rather than cancelling it.  We have two tentative dates.  One during Term 3 (Sat 29th – Sun 30th August) and one during school holidays (Sat 3rd Oct – Sun 4th Oct).  If you have a view as to which would be better, please let us know here.

  • YES Student Trip to Mexico – this has been postponed as you can expect since it was scheduled for April.  All students who applied have been notified and we are looking to reschedule for either the July or the October school holiday.

  • YES Teacher Trip to Colombia – this is planned for July but we are keeping a watching brief on Covid-19 to see if it needs to be postponed.  If so, we are looking at the October school holidays.  We understand some teachers didn’t apply because July didn’t work – so therefore we are keeping applications open for this until Friday 3rd April.  In the application form, you will be asked about your availability for both the July and October school holidays.  To apply, please CLICK HERE.  If you have already applied but cannot do the trip if it is in October, then please email the HQ team.


Ngā mihi – stay safe and be well.

Terry and the team from Young Enterprise