Learning and earning: Young entrepreneurs funding positive change in their community

In 2017, student-entrepreneurs taking part in the School Enterprise Challenge generated an incredible $694,535* in income. That’s right, over 83,000 students from around the world planned, set up and are running their very own school-based businesses! Not only that, they have used the money earned to benefit their school and the local community.

Want to know which type of business students set up? Check out this article to get inspired!

Schools taking part in the programme are encouraged to set up a gender-balanced Business Management Committee, made up of student business team members, teachers and parents, that meets regularly to oversee how the business is run. The Business Management Committee agrees democratically on how to spend the profits generated in a way that is sustainable and will have maximum impact**.

Schools can spend their profits in a variety of ways. For example, part of the profits could be reinvested in the business as well as used to make improvements at the school AND be donated to a local cause. In 2017, ¾ of schools, including Conalep Agua Prieta in Mexico, chose to reinvest a portion of their profit back into the business to ensure long-term success. By buying more tools, refilling their seeds supply and investing in marketing, they were able to ensure that more students at their school can be part of their vegetable growing business. This means that multiple generations of students at the school get to develop essential life skills like teamwork, problem solving and leadership!

Conalep Agua Prieta

Students at Conalep Agua Prieta in Mexico have set up a successful vegetable growing business which generated US$350 profit in 2017. As well as reinvesting in the business to ensure long-term success, they have also increased the number of scholarships available at the school and invested in the school canteen.




Other schools, like Gombe Junior School in Uganda, elected to spend part of their profit on improving facilities at their school. They invested part of the money generated to purchase plastic chairs for their school that are being used not only by the business team members in their meetings but are also at school assemblies and functions.

Gombe Junior School

The Gombe Junior School in Uganda established a business producing liquid soap for mopping and washing. In 2017 they have generated US$168 profit with which they purchased chairs for the school. They also provided some disadvantaged students with an allowance in their canteen account. A great example of how having a school business can increase students’ ability to participate in school!

Some schools even identified a local social cause that they would like to support. Take DAV Public School in India who donated part of their profit to an organisation that assists cataract surgeries, allowing elderly people to be more independent, improving their mental health and improving their quality of life. The team came to that decision together after visiting a retirement home and familiarising themselves with the issues suffered by local women.

DAV Public School

The DAV Public School in India made US$578 profit with their handicraft business in 2017! They donated part of their profit to an organisation that assists in cataract surgeries. They also donated part of their profit to assist the education of local underprivileged children and invested in teacher workshops!

Want to find out more about the incredible school businesses in the School Enterprise Challenge? Check them out in our
Facebook album!

These students from all over the world are doing it for themselves and for their community. They planned and implemented successful, sustainable and profitable school-based businesses. As well as learning about leadership skills and teamwork, the teams at the School Enterprise Challenge are also assisting with school improvements and community building. Their local community will grow and develop and the new students will be able to join the school business and acquire key skills. That means these students are creating an incredible legacy for many generations to come!

Inspired by these young entrepreneurs raising money for their school and local causes they care about? This could happen at your school too! Find out more and register for the School Enterprise Challenge for FREE here.

*Figures as reported by schools in their Annual Reports. Not all schools submitted data.

** Although the School Enterprise Challenge team can advise teams on how to spend their profits when requested, the decision lies with the business team and their Business Management Committee.

Foto criada em 31-10-15 às 15.04 This article was written by Marina, an intern supporting the School Enterprise Challenge team. She’s passionate about helping young people develop skills. Do you have a story you’d like to share with her? Send Marina an email to info@schoolenterprisechallenge.org  and she’ll make sure to share it with the rest of the School Enterprise Challenge community!

1 thought on “Learning and earning: Young entrepreneurs funding positive change in their community

  1. Pingback: World Youth Skills Day 2018 | School Enterprise Challenge Blog

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