My name is Elizabeth Pittman and I represent the Young Enterprise Trust. I am the Head of YES (Young Enterprise Scheme), our flagship programme. YES is an opportunity for senior secondary students to unleash their inner entrepreneur and experience the start-up world first-hand by setting up and running their own business.
Venture Centre has been the Young Enterprise Scheme delivery partner in the Bay of Plenty since 2017. As such, Venture Centre is responsible for promoting and coordinating activities for YES by inspiring, guiding and facilitating activities and events in the Bay of Plenty and by building an enterprising culture in youth. Venture Centre, along with their employed YES Regional Coordinator, acts as a “connector” between the business community and the YES students.
We see Venture Centre as a perfect fit for delivering the YES programme in the region as they are an active part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. They have built a strong network and community of entrepreneurs in the region, which allows them to connect our young people with mentors in the community. We love that Venture Centre ‘walks the talk’ with an entrepreneurial mindset. They are actively involved in building capability and capacity within their team and in those with whom they work.
In terms of impact, Venture Centre has contributed greatly to the development of our Young Enterprise students and teachers regionally and nationally. Since 2017, they have developed and grown entrepreneurial mindset in over 500 students. Many of these students have left school to study business at the tertiary level or have carried on their Young Enterprise Scheme business into the real world. These students remain connected to Venture Centre as YES alumni and continue to give back by supporting students currently in the programme through mentorship and networking. Additionally, Venture Centre staff engage in programme design and development work which has a national impact for over 4000 students and 200 teachers each year.
Venture Centre is an ideal candidate for funding and grants. They truly believe in the work they do, the potential of those in their community, and their responsibility to foster and connect a network of entrepreneurs in the Bay of Plenty and wider New Zealand. They are purpose-driven and committed to achieving these outcomes.