• Karamū High School students win top regional young enterprise award

Karamū High School students win top regional young enterprise award

A Karamū High School business enterprise has succeeded at all levels in the Hawke’s Bay Young Enterprise Scheme regional final. 

Not only did Posie Papers win, but its CEO Esta Chaplin was also awarded CEO of the Year which will be presented at Nationals, and their teacher Brandon Callow received the runner-up award for teacher of the year.

The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) regional awards, held last week, recognised the top students who participated in the programme which sees students create and run their own businesses.

The four Year 13s behind Posie Papers are Head Student Lena Ormsby, Esta Chaplin, Amie Chatterton and Bella Casson. They will now represent the region at the YES National Awards in Wellington on December 4, and pitch for the chance to be crowned National Company of the Year.

Posie Papers was grown out of a desire to reduce paper waste in schools whilst also revitalising native flora. Together the students have created handmade recycled paper cards with native seeds embedded in the envelopes.

Esta says it is “so special”.

“It was just so special and just to be around all the team, it's such a special night. And just knowing that all the hard work you put in is recognised. It was so surprising as well.”

Lena adds: “She deserved it”.

Posie Papers originally formed last year.

“On a more personal note, last year we put lots of hard work into our product, but we lost momentum at the end of the year,” Lena says.

“So this year, we all knew we really wanted to do our best, and the fact that we're all friends is really nice. It was a group effort.”

They say their success is down to the long list of people who have supported them, in particular Mr Callow and their mentor Colin Rafferty, also a former Karamū High School business teacher.

Esta says people are “really invested in the product”.

“We’ve had so much support. As soon as we tell people about our product, they’re like ‘wow’.”

While they plan to continue Posie Papers, their direction will slightly change to offer paper  workshops to young students. Although, they plan to release a special Christmas card.

YES Regional Coordinator Fran Arlidge says it is an “incredible achievement”.

“The judges believed that the team was extremely engaging and that they have the foundations of a great start-up business, with a strong focus on being eco-friendly”.

“Karamū have always been one of the largest schools in terms of numbers of YES registrations in Hawke’s Bay. They have always been great to deal with, friendly, and have a strong business department.”


Karamū High School students Amie Chatterton (second left), Bella Casson, Esta Chaplin and Lena Ormsby with Business Teacher Brandon Callow (left) and mentor Colin Rafferty (right).