Now that the Final Report deadline for the School Enterprise Challenge 2016 has passed, we look at how schools can keep their businesses going into the new year. We spoke with William Lyonga of Bishop Rogan College in Cameroon, winner of our Inspirational Teacher Award in 2014 and current member of our Teacher Advisory Panel.
What steps have you taken to ensure that the school business continues to operate beyond the Final Report deadline?
The business team has planned to continue business activities as normal. In our situation of a Gardening Business, here in Cameroon, we have two farming seasons, one at the start of the academic year and the other at the fourth quarter of the academic year. The second period is still to come and members have agreed to plant more crops during the second farming season. Farm products are needed all throughout the year.
If it comes to other types of businesses which might not deal with perishable goods, a school may choose to produce and then market later. Say for example during low production season or prepare for next season when these products might be on demand.
How does the school business keep progressing beyond the final report deadline?
I hope school businesses are not just School Enterprise Challenge oriented businesses, where the focus is competition and nothing more. I believe that schools and business teams are motivated with the results they obtain during the competition, which therefore means they should remain active after the competition. We should keep our businesses going!!!
What challenges do you expect to face in the coming weeks?
Lack of competitive spirit among the school business team. Some students would think that the competition is over and therefore see no need to worry much about the business. We needed to have prepared the minds of the students that the business will continue after the competition.
How do you keep SEC students motivated now that the competition itself has come to an end?
If they did well during the competition period, then they need to reap the fruits of their labour. Proceeds from the competition period could be used to motivate members and encourage them to continue, especially when the academic year has not ended. For example, in Cameroon the school year is not midway gone. The rest of the months could be used to generate income to accomplish their goals. Some schools are aspiring to win good prizes; this too may keep the spirit of the business team alive.
What pieces of advice would you like to share with other teachers regarding this time of year?
Business should continue as usual during this period. I hope that some business teams have prepared a post-competition plan. If not, it would be good if teachers do this with their team because the students need to be prepared psychologically that they have to continue with the business, even after the competition. This period could be used to mentor or train new students who have expressed interest to join the business team for next academic year.
This interview was part of our Global Entrepreneurship Week 2016 celebrations in which we try to inspire students and teachers to create the best school businesses they possibly can. What did you think of William’s advice? Do you have any thoughts that you would like to share with the School Enterprise Challenge Community? Please comment in the section below!