Putting Theory Into Practice: Launching Your School Business

Coming up with a Business Idea and creating a Business Plan is fun, challenging and educational all at the same time. However, the true value in the School Enterprise Challenge lies in setting up a real School Enterprise that is run by students and generates income for the school.

With our Sunday 30th October 2016 deadline for Final Reports approaching we have put together a list of our top 4 tips to help you put theory into practice and successfully launch your school business.

Play to your students’ strengths

How you manage your school business team will play a crucial role in launching your business. Assigning clear roles to all of your students, based on their strengths and interest, will empower them to really take ownership of the business and ensure it runs smoothly.

Students are known to be more focused and perform their duties better when they are clear about what these are. We recommend you think about what skills each team member already has as well as the skills they would like to develop and distribute roles accordingly. Once the business is successfully up and running you can rotate teams, giving students new responsibilities, as a way of increasing their learning experience while keeping things new and interesting for them.

Make sure you watch our YouTube video for more detailed information on how to effectively manage your school business team.

Managing your school business team video snip.PNG

Watch our handy Youtube Video to learn more about how to manage your school business team.

Hold a launch event

Holding a launch event is a great way to raise awareness and create excitement surrounding your product or service.

Although it can require quite a lot of planning, the long-term benefits of having a launch event are undeniable. Not only will you be able to advertise your business and make those initial sales to get you going, you will also get the opportunity to meet your customers and get to know them personally. You can take this chance to get feedback on your business to better tailor it to the needs of your consumers, which will hopefully lead to more profit in the future!

Opening Ceremony Day (8).JPG

Learning Paths School in India recently held a fantastic launch event for their business, Paper Bank, where they sold their notepads made from recycled paper.

Be motivated

Student motivation and the success of your school business are directly linked… Fact. Teachers always tell us that motivated students are more enthusiastic, more cooperative and contribute more than their less motivated peers. So, how can you keep your teams motivated? Well, the truth is there isn’t a single correct answer. Different students react to different kinds of motivation. Below are some of our favourite motivation methods we have seen SEC teachers use in recent years:

  • Use praise: Praising students, either in a one-on-one conversation or mentioning them during an all-school assembly is a great way to let them know that they are doing a great job. It will make them feel proud and make them hungry for more success.
  • Use rewards: Rewarding students with small items such as certificates or stickers is another great way to keep them motivated. Star Performer and Salesperson of the Week are just two types of reward certificates you could hand out… Be creative!
  • Appoint champions: Motivation is contagious so assigning your most enthusiastic students as chief motivators could have a fantastic effect on the morale of their peers.

Of course, there are many more things you can do. We encourage you to be as creative as possible. Remember that if the teacher is motivated, the students are more likely to be motivated, so make sure you set a good example by being enthusiastic throughout!

High Spirits – students at the Managha Primary School in Tanzania showing high levels of motivation at the launch of their new school business, Mavepro.

Don’t let a lack of capital hold you back

Schools often tell us they can’t launch their business because they don’t have the necessary funds to start. We want to remind you that the beauty of the School Enterprise Challenge is that it teaches students to do the best they can with what they already have at their disposal. In the past, schools have used a wide range of methods ranging from starting micro-versions of their business to selling shares in exchange for investment in order to raise the money they needed. You can read all about them in our handy guide, Raising Your Startup Capital.


Indeco Community School in Zambia set up a micro-business, selling bags made from recycled materials to tourists, to fund their school uniform business.

Well there you have it, our top 4 tips on a successful launch. Do you have any advice you would like to share with us?

How do you split your students into teams? Have you had a successful launch event? Have you got a great way of motivating your students? Did you launch a business without any starting capital?

We want to hear your story! We’d love to hear any interesting tips that you have so please share them with us and the rest of the School Enterprise Challenge Community in the comments section below.


This article was written by our new Programme Support Officer, Christophe.  If you’d like to welcome him to the School Enterprise Challenge community or give him some feedback on the article, please don’t hesitate to send him an email to info@schoolenterprisechallenge.org – he’ll be happy to hear from you!

17 thoughts on “Putting Theory Into Practice: Launching Your School Business

  1. Sonia

    School enterprise challenge is a very well- etched programme which gives clear cut ideas at every step. The students learn a lot from this programme if they follow it consistently and meticulously.



  3. BGS National Public school

    Great initiative and event to promote self dependence,creativity,problem solving in young children.Iam experiencing the drastic change in my students from past 2 years since we are apart of this unique programme.Thanks a lot for giving us this international platform to learn and explore

  4. Neelam Gupta

    What I really like about the school enterprise challenge is the whole concept on which it is based. The idea of starting a school business in a very simple way, using available resources and skills is very innovative.The one thing that the enterprise has done for me is that it has strengthened my bond with my students. My participation in the enterprise was not limited as a teacher but I was also a learner, like a student I learnt new things from my own students. Not only for a teacher, it is so much beneficial for the students as well. Some students who always had a dream of opening their own business will now be equipped with the right skills to achieve their dreams.

  5. Pingback: Implementation: Checklist for launching a successful school business | School Enterprise Challenge Blog

  6. Gladis Thomas

    Thank you SEC team, It is indeed a pleasure watching my students take up responsibility for every single activity. All this was possible because of your initiative of introducing this great project for us to work on.
    I can see students progress in acquiring a lot of skills after taking up the SEC project. Their research, leadership, communication, thinking, presentation, decision-making skills developed.
    The guides available in the resources section is praise-worthy. Hats off to the team who prepared such valuable resources.
    A Big Thank you to the SEC Team!


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