A growing number of Pacific students around New Zealand are saying “yes” to being involved in the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) and gaining entrepreneurial skills.
Supporting them throughout the programme is Roaming Teacher – Pasifika Sian McMillan, who believes the programme sets students up to excel in life.
As part of the YES programme, students set up and run a real business, and each YES company creates their product or service and gets to experience what it is like to go to market.
The Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) funds a dedicated Roaming Teacher for Pacific YES students, to help encourage Pacific young people to discover their potential in business and in life, while at the same time, building a successful, resilient and thriving Pacific population.
This is Sian’s second year in the Roaming Teacher role and before that, she had taught the programme for several years at Onewhero Area School.
Nationwide, Sian says there are 485 Pacific students participating in YES, within 92 Pacific companies.
“Of those Pacific YES companies, 65 are here in Auckland – this has increased since last year, when we had 85 Pacific companies nationwide,” Sian explains.
The Roaming Teacher says her role is to help teachers and students not only get through the five YES challenges and help with the NCEA side of things but also help provide knowledge, support, opportunities and connections to those teachers and students.
“When a student leaves school after participating in the YES programme there are so many skills they leave with, that will benefit them in the future.
“These students leave school being able to say they created or have a small business, which has been able to promote and sell over time.
“It does not get much better than that in my opinion.”
Throughout the year, Sian has organised events for Pacific companies, including a Pacific workshop in August, staged at AUT South Campus.
“We are also working towards creating a range of selling opportunities for the students in the coming months and we have the Entrepreneurs in Action weekend, which any YES student can apply for and get the chance to be part of.”
In the coming weeks and months, MPP will help showcase Pacific companies involved in YES.
This is going to help boost the teams’ profiles and hopefully help turn followers into customers of Pacific companies’ YES products.
By supporting the students and helping feature their businesses it also helps the teams achieve one of their YES challenges in the competition, Sian adds.
Visit MPP for more information on how MPP supports YES.