The School Enterprise Challenge is featured in the current issue (July/August 2020) of Childhood Education: Innovations! This publication is aimed at anyone in the education community who wants to stay informed about the most recent ideas and innovations in childhood education, by sharing information and insights from schools around the world.
We are so excited to have an article by one of our colleagues titled The School Enterprise Challenge: Learning by Doing, be part of this insightful publication.
You can subscribe to Childhood Education: Innovations to read about all sorts of exciting and creative approaches to learning, or you can purchase the individual article here:
CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE ARTICLE
As lockdown is still ongoing in many countries around the world, the School Enterprise Challenge team released our third optional activity for students to engage with school businesses from home during the pandemic: A Good Entrepreneur.
Download Activity 3 – A good entrepreneur
Students are invited to write a brief review of a character from their favourite film or book, as a way to think about the entrepreneurial qualities which helped them to overcome obstacles. This activity gave students the chance to reflect on which attitudes and skills are needed to succeed in entrepreneurship and helped develop their communication skills and aspiration.
We loved reading students’ accounts of inspiring characters and were amazed at how passionately they talked about them! Check out a few of the submissions we received below.
Anjali from the Ahlcon Public School in India paints a passionate portrait of Jo March, her favorite character in the book Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. “The charm of Little Women was never really about the relationships at all; Jo’s fight to remain fearlessly herself in a man’s world and to achieve her dream of a writer’s life against all obstacles— that was the real love story”. Read more about why she chose this protagonist as a model here.
Although there are already several weeks of pandemic and lockdown behind us, the next few months worldwide are still unclear. To keep students engaged from home, the School Enterprise Challenge team has developed optional activities for teachers to offer to their students. The second activity we offered is all about finding a brand identity for a business.
Download Activity 2 – Brand identity
A brand’s identity is what makes it stand out, what makes us remember it. We asked students to come up with a brand for their business, with logos as a starting point to depict their brand. We invited them to look further down the line by thinking about colours, slogans, etc. This activity focuses on creativity as well as business knowledge.
We were so impressed with the students’ innovative designs and motivation in representing their brands! Here are some of the branding materials we have received.
The team of students at Choithram School in India focus on making crafts from recycled materials, compost from dry leaves, and plant saplings from flower cuttings as a part of their school enterprise ‘Good Earth’.
Their beautiful logo portrays their connection with nature and the wonderful wealth of our planet which must be protected for future generations. The arrows symbolise “the eternal cycle of reduce, reuse and recycle highlighting that waste can be made best with the proper utilisation of available resources.” Finally, “the nascent sapling in the centre signifying growth and freshness conveys that ‘Green’ is the hallmark of ‘Good Earth’.” These ambassadors of conservation sure know how to invoke all their activities in one logo.
They even made a wordmark in order to distinguish their products from others and be easily recognised by customers!
Every year, the School Enterprise Challenge team is impressed with the great school businesses we see come to life thanks to the dedication of enterprising students. We also love hearing about what young people do after participating in our programme – our graduates are truly inspiring, as they take the lessons learned in the school business to shape their lives and seek out the opportunities available to them. We want to dedicate this post to some of the most amazing graduates we have seen this year – they are shining examples of the long-lasting benefits young people can obtain through our programme, combining dedication, resilience and creativity to start and run wonderful enterprises!
Valens from Kigali, Rwanda, participated in his school’s business from 2016 until 2018, the year of his graduation. Since then, he has taken the skills acquired while participating in the School Enterprise Challenge to start a poultry farming business. This initiative has allowed him to help reduce malnutrition in his community! Between the profits he makes from selling eggs and his part-time job in electrical installation, Valens has been able to start saving money with his friends and business partners, with the goal of eventually starting and running a bigger business in the future. He explains that participating in the school business has been very beneficial for him: “with participating in the school business, I now feel more confident; I know how to deal with people, and how to present my ideas”. It also taught him financial literacy and changed his relationship to budgeting, making him more responsible: before participating in the school business, he was not mindful about money and would often spend as soon as he earned instead of saving. Now, he understands the value of money and of planning ahead, which will be an advantage for the rest of his life!
While International Women’s Day is now behind us, we think that we should make March international Women’s month! The School Enterprise Challenge is proud of supporting girls and young women throughout our programme, sharing with schools the importance of giving boys and girls equal chances of participating in school businesses. We have seen all sorts of school businesses where girls are the ones leading innovative businesses, becoming a source of inspiration for the entire world. Below, we share with you some examples of school teams led by girls who are shining through their brilliant work, and who we are happy to support in their entrepreneurial journey.
Our first amazing girl-led business are the Winners of the 2019 Gender Equality Champions of the Year Prize, the students from Olympic High School in Kenya. This group of girls set up and ran a school business called “Tailala Growers”. This team grows vegetables in recycled tyres, a wonderful initiative to give a purpose to discarded items. They made the decision to use their profits for a worthy cause, as they have been purchasing sanitary towels for girls to ensure they don’t have to skip school due to period poverty.
Pihu Suri is a former participant in the School Enterprise Challenge who was part of her school’s business team for 4 years before completing her secondary education and going on to study Psychology at university.
We caught up with her to find out what kind of impact being part of the school business team had on her!
Hi Pihu, please tell us a little bit about your experience in the school business
My friends and I were part of my school’s business team called ‘Udaan’ which creates and sells a range of decorative items. When I joined I was mainly involved in production but quickly I found I had a talent for organising my teammates. I quickly started to rise through the ranks and within a couple of years I was promoted to Director of the business!
Udaan is the school business at Kulachi Hansraj Model School in India. They have been taking part in the School Enterprise Challenge since 2014 and have grown their school business to involve more than 50 students each year. You can read all about how they’ve done it on their wonderful blog: http://khmsudaan.blogspot.com/
In 2016 I was chosen as the runner-up in the School Enterprise Challenge’s ‘Enterprising Student’ Award. It was an honour to have my efforts recognised on the global stage!
Since graduating from secondary school Pihu (centre) still regularly returns to inspire the current business team
Looking back, it wasn’t easy running the school business but I learned so much. Every time I come back to school I am overwhelmed to see it still operating and new students benefiting from it.
Establishing a school business with the School Enterprise Challenge can be hugely beneficial for the students involved. Particularly, it’s a great opportunity to develop essential skills for the 21st century such as communication, teamwork, leadership and problem solving.
However, it is easy to forget that participating teachers also benefit greatly! When Wendy Aguilar Reyes, a teacher from CONALEP Ing. Manuel Moreno Torres San Luis Potosi in Mexico, joined the School Enterprise Challenge little did she know that it would result in such a wonderful shared learning experience with her students.
Participating for the first time
This time around, Wendy has kindly shared a little about her experience supporting her students in their first year participating in the programme and establishing “Kualli”, a multi-product school business including the manufacturing and sales of: delicious confectionaries, printed T-shirts, personalised mugs and souvenirs for special events.
Busy students manufacturing multiple products for “Kualli” – confectionaries (left), T-shirt printing (centre) and personalised souvenirs (right)
Initially, Wendy’s expectations of the programme mainly focused in the students’ achievements and the impact that practical teaching could have in their commitment and decision making skills. “Having a solely theoretical lesson is not the same as having to put this theory into practice and having to deliver quality products to actual clients. The students are confronted with the real world and the teaching leaps beyond their notebooks: the income is real and it flows through our operations, the clients are real and they have opinions, demands and complaints. This learning is substantial,” she highlighted.
The School Enterprise Challenge supports students and teachers to plan, set up and run a real business at their school.
From coming up with a business idea and writing a business plan to launching and running the business, students take the lead and have the support of their teachers.
We spoke to Nikita Soni, a recent graduate of the School Enterprise Challenge from Choithram School in Indore (India) and former member of our Global Youth Advisory Panel, who has gone on to set up her own business.
Hi Nikita! Tell us a little bit about your business
I have set up a bakery business which I currently run from my home. I deal majorly in fresh cream cakes, brownies and flavoured chocolates and all flavours can be customised to customers’ wishes!
I promote it mainly via word of mouth and also use my Instagram page: _baked_goodies_ (<– click the link to view her page!)
Owing to grade 12 studies and examinations I have restricted myself to just a limited number of orders which I deliver from my home for now. I hope to grow it in the future.
What made you set up the business?
Baking is my passion. I had been doing it since I was 12 years old, making cakes for friends and family. In grade 11 when I was 16 I became part of the business team of School Enterprise Challenge at my school. I decided to use the entrepreneurial skills I was gaining and began to take orders professionally from certain friends and acquaintances.
Since the launch of School Enterprise Challenge in 2011 until today we’ve seen our community of enterprising schools go from strength to strength. Testimony to that are the more than 9,000 schools around the world who have registered to take part in the 2018 edition of the programme.
From 12th to 19th November, the School Enterprise Challenge community proudly celebrated Global Entrepreneurship Week 2018. Held each year, it is a celebration of the global network of individuals united by an interest in social entrepreneurship and positive change.
A truly international community: Student taking part in the School Enterprise Challenge 2018 from Nigeria, Mexico, Nepal and South Sudan!
Why do we celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week?
The School Enterprise Challenge not only works to develop essential life-skills, but we also aim to make young people realise they are part of something much bigger: a global movement. All over the world, participants of the School Enterprise Challenge are members of a vibrant, international community of entrepreneurs championing new initiatives and bringing their ideas to life.
Setting up a business at school is the best way to equip young people with the skills they will need to succeed in work and in life. Whilst the road to entrepreneurial success can be very rewarding it is by no means an easy one.
Luckily, schools taking part in the School Enterprise Challenge are not expected to go it alone! They are given access to their very own business mentor who they communicate with on WhatsApp.
In this article, one of our superstar mentors from our corporate partners Czarnikow, tells us about the time she got to visit a school taking part in the School Enterprise Challenge in her home country of South Africa.
Belinda, tell us a little bit about your visit to LIV school in Durban, South Africa
When I went back home to South Africa in July this year I was lucky to visit LIV School in Durban who have been taking part in the School Enterprise Challenge since 2015. When I arrived I was greeted by the business team who introduced me to their biltong making business (biltong is a dried, cured meat snack that is very popular in South Africa). They gave a presentation on what their business does and what goes on behind the scenes: how they raised their start-up capital by selling keyrings and taking out a small loan, each member’s role in the business, their marketing techniques, etc…