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Dec 11, 2017

Olelei Takes out The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Company of the Year

A group of students from Henderson High School have been awarded first place as The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Company of the Year.

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Over 860 student lead businesses were created through YES this year with the winner being announced this evening at the National Awards dinner held at TSB Arena in Wellington.

The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme this year helped 3,600 secondary students create and run a small business. Olelei created an almond based and dairy alternative product range.

To win the national title, 23 teams pitched their business to the national judging panel, which included leading CEO’s, company directors and venture capitalists.

Olelei CEO Matt Billington said “YES has been a life changing experience. It’s helped us develop personal and interpersonal skills that will enable us to take Olelei even further in 2018”.

Young Enterprise CEO Terry Shubkin commented on last night’s awards “The standard of businesses we see every year just keeps getting better. The company’s they’re creating are more culturally, socially and environmentally aware as well as being incredibly business savvy.”

Olelei received a $3000 cash prize, and each member of the team also received a $5000 scholarship from Massey Business School.

18 student entrepreneurs and business leaders received awards last night, with over $20,000 in cash prizes and $30,000 in scholarships announced as well. The full list of winners is included in the editors notes below.


Overall Title

  • The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme Company of the Year 2017 - Olelei | Henderson High School
  • The Sir John Todd Award for Second Place - Clear Free | Rangitoto College
  • The Todd Foundation Award for Third Place -  Earth to Earth | Westmount School

Category Awards

  • Arts and Culture Award - Project Ātaahua | Gisborne Girls' High School
  • BP Award for Social Enterprise - Loocation | Diocesan School for Girls
  • Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Award for CEO of the Year - Jake Dunn, Bruthas | St John's College, Hastings
  • He Kai Kei Aku Ringa Award for Rangatahi Entrepreneurs - Tumeke Clothing | Tokoroa High School
  • HSBC Award for Excellence in Sales & Marketing - Ashley Grace | Rangitoto College
  • Massey Business School Young Entrepreneur Scholar Award  - Joe Taylor | Nayland College
  • Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment Award for Operations - Tumeke Clothing | Tokoroa High School
  • Ministry for Pacific Peoples Award for Excellence in Pasifika Business - Meraki | St Mary's College, Auckland
  • MPI GrowingNZ Sustainability Award: Food and Fibre for the Future - Beer Bones | Liston College
  • Ministry of Youth Development Award for Business Commitment - Golden Owl | Papanui High School
  • Movac Innovation Award - Key Ideas NZ | Taupo-nui-a-Tia College
  • NZ Aid Programme Award for International Development - Tasty Tio | Kaitaia College/ Te Rangi Aniwaniwa/ Kaitaia Abundant Life School
  • Unitec Award for Enterprising Technology - Rippl | ACG Parnell

Special Awards

  • Sir James Fletcher Award for the most Inspiring Teacher - Emma O'Riordan | Manurewa High School
  • Distinguished Alumni Award  - Lisa King | Eat My Lunch
  • Emerging Alumni Award - Sian Simpson | Kiwi Landing Pad