Our team has been working all year towards competing in the Youth enterprise scheme (YES). This is a nationwide competition in which student from over 200 schools goes head to head to create an award-winning business from scratch.
Being a part of the Young Enterprise Scheme has been a journey of highs and lows for the team. The iBrite initially didn't make it into the Young Enterprise Scheme, after being rejected. However, our team is passionate about creating a product that will genuinely help people; and we turned this passion into determination and decided to enter the competition.
We entered over a month later than other teams, so we had to work hard to ensure that we were on track to success. With only a week to prepare, our first success was at the Tauranga/Coromandel YES Dragons' Den.
From here we knew that we were onto a good thing. We spent many late nights writing business plans, annual reviews, and building prototypes. There were tears as tension rose and laughter as we realized that at times we were on the brink of being deemed crazy- but I believe that this is the sign of a great business.
With so much time invested into Youth Enterprise Scheme Regional Awards, we were very nervous come awards night.
However, it was a fantastic night! It was great meeting the other teams involved, and we were all truly inspired being surrounded by such talented people of all different ages.
Early on in the evening we were presented with the Innovation Award. This was a special award as we have worked hard to constantly improve the iBrite through prototyping, to ensure that once we enter the market the iBrite is perfect. I am really proud of my team for achieving this award as creating a product as innovative as the iBrite has provided the most challenges during this year, all of which my team has bonded together to overcome.
Our Finance Director, Callie-Jay Dobbs (CJ Dobbs) was also selected as the Tauranga Region's "Teentrepreneur." This meant that CJ was nominated by our team as a teenager who showed the true spirit of entrepreneurship. CJ is an incredible asset to our team. She is hard working, determined and consistently strives for excellence. I would like to congratulate CJ on this achievement. The team is very proud of her.
Finally, I am very excited to announce that we have been selected as the Regional Winner for the Youth Enterprise Scheme! We were absolutely ecstatic when we found out this result. Everything has paid off, and we are overjoyed to have achieved what we had aimed for.
Of course, we could not have reached this achievement without the tremendous support we have received. I would like to say a huge thank you to our business studies teacher/mentor Mrs. Maurice, The Tauranga Girls' College Business Department, our family and friends, SPELD New Zealand, 3Design, the Youth Enterprise Scheme and of course Pascale Hyboud-Peron and her fantastic team at Venture Centre.
So, where to next? Of course, we are continuing to develop the iBrite and we will begin testing within the next few months, in order to make the iBrite available for purchase next year. We are also busy preparing for the Youth Enterprise Scheme Nationals' in December. On December 6th we will pitch again to go fight for the National title. We are very grateful for this opportunity.
Once again, thank you for your support over the course of this year. I am extremely proud of what my team has accomplished and I can't wait to see what the future has in store for my team and the iBrite.
Pascale Hyboud-Peron, Regional Coordinator for the Youth Enterprise Scheme and Co-Founder of Venture Centre
The Team From Left to Right: Madison Sykes (CEO), CJ Dobbs (Finance), Mrs. Maurice (Teacher/Mentor), Ashley Cundy (Production), Abbey Herbison (Communications)
Callie-Jay Dobbs with Founder of The BabySitters' Club, Georgia Meek
The team being presented their award by Jo Allum, Co-Founder of Venture Centre