Ottyleah Te Houkamau: YES resilience winner

December 2021


Teams and their whānau across New Zealand gathered with trepidation this week, waiting for the outcome of New Zealand’s Young Enterprise Scheme National Awards (YES) 2021.

Among them was young mum and Te Tipu Whenua o Pā Harakeke (Flaxmere Teen Parent Unit) student, Ottyleah Te Houkamau, who had entered her natural lip treatment enterprise Trio Treat.

Ordinarily, regional winners from around the country would be invited to Wellington to present in person; however, this year, the event was moved online.

Locally, Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce hosted a watch party to live-stream the event. YES teams, teachers, and supporters came together for a fantastic night of celebration. Hosted by David Downs, CEO of The New Zealand Story, and Liz Pittman, Head of YES, the online event was a riot of colour, festivities, and excitement.

And there was great news for Ottyleah. She was humbled and ecstatic to receive the Ministry of Youth Development Award for Resilience. The judges praised Ottyleah for her communication skills, ability to overcome hardship and withstand adversity.

Ottyleah spoke about overcoming adversity in her acceptance speech, sharing the power of accepting “the ups and downs” and staying “focused on your goals,” noting that anything is possible with hard work and determination.

As a young mother, Ottyleah looks forward to passing on the skills she has learned to her daughter. Skills such as collaboration, networking, getting out of her comfort zone, and understanding finance.

The Young Enterprise Scheme seeks to inspire young people by giving them a taste of entrepreneurship. Teams are encouraged to set up a real-life business, develop a product or service and operate with real profit and loss.

More than 4700 students participated in the scheme this year, forming 1171 companies. - Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce



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