The fifth annual Wild Fig Young Entrepreneur Support (YES) Awards are about to commence and all Central Coast high schools can expect to receive their letters of invitation in the coming days.
The awards invite Year 11 Business Studies students to submit a business plan that identifies an innovative business idea and highlights their understanding of how to get the idea off the ground.
A panel of independent judges then selects the best submissions and invites those finalists to pitch their ideas before the judges and an audience of local business owners, teachers and parents.
The winning student is awarded a cheque for $1,000, while the second and third place getters receive $300 and $200 respectively, with all prizes donated by YES Awards sponsors.
There is also the potential for a student’s business idea to be picked up and supported by a venture capitalist if they see significant future potential in the idea.
Wild Fig Service Alliance spokesperson, Ms Barbara Ketley, whose company, local marketing and advertising agency Milestone-Belanova is a sponsor for this year’s awards said, “Over the past four years, we have seen some brilliant and very creative ideas come through from students, which is not only a testament to the students themselves, but also to the schools and teachers who have embraced this initiative.
“The standard of presentations and business plans just keeps getting better and better, so we are really looking forward to seeing what students come up with this year.”
Last year’s winning student was Mr Ewan Carmichael from Terrigal High School.
Carmichael was awarded a cheque for $1,000 for his unique mobile laser tag business idea, Laser Tag Royale.
Carmichael’s long-term vision for his business, for which he had already created a fully functional website, is to create a laser tag theme park.
Terrigal High School Business Studies teacher, Ms Dale Massie, said: “I cannot thank Wild Fig enough for this wonderful opportunity for our students.
“All three finalists in 2016 were simply amazing.
“What a hard job it was for the judges.
“Ewan has benefited immeasurably on so many levels from his experience.”
On the judging panel for this year’s YES awards are President of the Central Coast NSW Business Chamber, Mr Rod Dever; Senior Lecturer from the University of Newcastle’s Business School, Dr Anton Kriz; Executive Officer for Central Coast Industry Connect Limited, Mr Frank Sammut; and, Regional Manager, Central Coast NSW Business Chamber, Mr Daniel Farmer.
Dr Kriz will also deliver a presentation on the topic of innovation and entrepreneurship at the awards presentation breakfast in November.
Wild Fig Service Alliance is a not for profit organisation consisting of members representing a broad range of established businesses on the Central Coast.
The YES Awards were launched in 2013 as part of Wild Fig’s commitment to encourage entrepreneurial spirit in our local youth.
Media release, Aug 4
Phaedra Pym, A Way With Words PR