The United Nations (UN) has declared 27th June to be Micro, Small & Medium-sized Enterprises Day (MSMEs) in recognition of their role in sustainable development.
The UN reports that MSMEs makeup over 90% of all firms and account on average for 60-70% of total employment in addition to 50% of GDP globally. Their importance in a more sustainable future cannot be underestimated!
MSMEs play a particularly important role in fighting poverty because they employ a large numbers of people from more vulnerable areas of society such as women and young people or those from poorer households. This is further highlighted in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, specifically goals 8 and 9.
The beauty of the School Enterprise Challenge is that participants are welcome to set up any kind of business they desire. Students are encouraged to look at the resources already available around them at their school and to think of how they could turn them into a profitable business.
Top tip #1: Remember to refer to the Business Guides 1, 2, 3 & 4 – they contain all the activities and examples your team will need to come up with a fantastic business idea!
What kind of businesses do schools usually set up?
Over the years schools set up an incredibly wide range of businesses. Some of the most popular types of businesses include:
- Farming (vegetables, fruit, chickens, rabbits)
- Textiles (T-shirts, dresses, school uniforms, jute bags)
- Food Production (cakes, juices, snacks to go)
- Entertainment (party planning, musical band, theatre troupe)
- Handicrafts (jewellery, decorations, notepads)
Some of the most innovative businesses that have been set up as part of the School Enterprise Challenge include a Cooperative Bank in Peru, Aquaponics (fish rearing) in Uganda and a Talent Identification and Development Agency in Zimbabwe!