A group of students from Nelson College have won The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Company of the Year title.

The award was announced at the Young Enterprise National Awards in Wellington on 7 December. Where’s Woolly beat more than 600 companies from around the country to claim the title.

The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme this year helped 3,400 secondary students create and run a small business. Where’s Woolly created a themed children’s book and sold over 1100 copies throughout 25 countries.

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

“We spent so many hours on this business, and it’s all paid off,” said Alistair King, CEO of Where’s Woolly. “We couldn’t be prouder.”

Young Enterprise CEO Terry Shubkin said Where’s Woolly were worthy winners. “The judging panel heard from 23 YES companies from throughout New Zealand. The products and services being pitched varied from cycle safety gear and chocolate flavoured coconut milk to beehives and childrens’ storybooks. Where’s Woolly stood out because they were stars in sales and marketing, and were not happy with just creating a single product. They have looked for multiple ways to extend their product including diversifying in the digital space. They are already taking their business to the world in 25 different countries.”

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

Young Enterprise students won 18 awards tonight, with over $20,000 in cash prizes and $30,000 in scholarships announced as well. The full list of winners includes:

Overall title:

1. The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme Company of the Year: Where’s Woolly, Nelson College

2. Todd Corporation Award for 2nd Place: Olelei, Henderson High School

3. Todd Corporation Award for 3rd Place: Ruff Tucker, Iona College

Category Awards:

  • Arts and Culture Award: Te Kāhui Kanorau, Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae
  • BP Award for Social Enterprise: Small Talk, St Mary’s College
  • Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand CEO of the Year Award: Andrew Tang, Scots College
  • Callaghan Innovation Award for the Best Digital Technology Company: Trident App Design, Takapuna Grammar School
  • He Kai Kei Aku Ringa Award for Rangatahi Entrepreneurs: Four Foodies, Motueka High School
  • HSBC Award for Sales & Marketing: Where’s Woolly, Nelson College
  • Innovation Award: Crankworks, St Paul’s Collegiate School
  • Massey Business School Young Entrepreneur Scholar Award: Nadia Paine, Kaikorai Valley College
  • Ministry for Pacific Peoples Award for Excellence in Pasifika Business: OLelei, Henderson High School
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Award for Operations: Kaika BeeCo, Kaikorai Valley College
  • Ministry of Youth Development Award for Business Commitment: Be Somebody, Fraser High School
  • Movac Award for High Growth Potential: Ed.Life, Macleans College
  • NZ Aid Programme Award for International Development: Tribal, St Thomas of Canterbury College
  • Unitec Award for Enterprising Technology: Ed.Life, Macleans College
  • XERO Award for Thinking Big: BrightLife, ACG Parnell College

Special Awards:

  • Outstanding Individual Award: Te Riaki Williams, Opotiki College
  • Sir James Fletcher Award for Outstanding Contribution to Enterprise: Jarrod Aberhart, Nelson College
  • Emerging Alumni Award: Nathalie Whitaker, founder of Givealittle
  • Distinguished Alumni Award: Stefan Lepionka, founder of Stefans and co-founder of Charlies

Like this? Get entrepreneur articles by email.

Supporter Spotlight: Offers and services from NZ Entrepreneur supporters!


Necessity the mother of invention for Heatsource


Rise of the Seniorpreneur - why 55+ is an advantage

You might also like...