Category Archives: Student Voices

Participants share what a ‘Good Entrepreneur’ is to them

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.  

Jo March

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.

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Branding materials by School Enterprise Challenge participants!

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’.

Good Earth Logo Designed by Nandini Bhachawat in they year 2016Their beautiful logo portrays their connection with nature and the wonderful wealth of our planet which must be protected for future generations. The arrows symbolisethe 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.

WordmarkThey even made a wordmark in order to distinguish their products from others and be easily recognised by customers!

 

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Elevator Pitches by School Enterprise Challenge students!

During the Covid-19 pandemic, it can be a challenge for teachers to keep their students engaged and involved in the school business. To help keep the learning going, even from home, the School Enterprise Challenge team is providing teachers with optional activities they can offer their students: the Elevator Pitch activity is the first activity that we shared with teachers, and further activities will be shared over the next few weeks. 

Click here to download Activity 1: the Elevator Pitch

To successfully give an elevator pitch, students had to present their school business in a convincing and clear way, as though they were talking to a potential investor during an elevator ride, so they only had 1 minute! The goal of this activity is to enable them to develop communication and critical thinking skills

We were impressed with the great pitches we received from students all over the world! Here is a selection of some amazing pitches. 

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Dennis from the Kolanya Boys High School in Kenya pitched a great double action hand sanitiser: not only does this gel sanitise your hands, but it also moisturises them! It’s non toxic, food safe, and dries quickly. If we had been on the receiving end of that pitch, we would be funding this project right now! Check out his full pitch in video form here.

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A Graduate’s View: The Longer Term Impact

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!

Pihu Suri - A SEC graduate (2)

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.

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From school business to home business

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

YAP - Nikita Soni (1)

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.

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“Who says women can’t do business?”

Meet the girls who presented their prize-winning business on national TV!

Eveline Girls High School (2)

The team of 31 girls at Eveline Girls High School in Zimbabwe have successfully set up their very own business, a digital magazine called ‘Teen Clique Zone’.

Young people from across their region submit content which they write themselves and the business team puts it together into a nicely formatted magazine which they share across social media: Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

The magazine is shared for free and revenue for their business is generated from advertising. The students have shown maturity beyond their years when reaching out to local businesses and selling space in the magazine.

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Business mentors supporting student-entrepreneurs on the road to success

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…

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Celebrating World Youth Skills Day 2018

 

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“Creativity is as important now in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status” – Ken Robinson

On 15th July 2018, the School Enterprise Challenge community proudly to celebrate the World Youth Skills Day. Held yearly, this is a great opportunity to raise awareness around the importance of teaching young people a wide range of skills. This means going beyond traditional, highly ‘academic’ teaching techniques and embracing practical methods and valuing all the soft skills that come from them!

Why do we celebrate the World Youth Skills Day?

A key part of the School Enterprise Challenge is the empowerment of youth through the development of essential life-skills through a hands-on, experiential journey – the fun and innovative way to do it! All over the world, the teams taking part in the School Enterprise Challenge are planning and implementing real student-led businesses. In the process, those students gain not only entrepreneurial skills but also develop essential life skills such as teamwork, creativity and leadership. These are the skills that will prepare them for life after school and the world of work.

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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. Continue reading

Student experience: The benefits of taking part in the School Enterprise Challenge

Taking part in the School Enterprise Challenge can be a life-changing experience for many. By being part of a school business, students get the chance to learn essential life skills in a non-traditional way: learning through doing. Here, two member of the Global Youth Advisory Panel, Nikita Soni (Choithram School) and Anusha Goel (Kulachi Hansraj Model School) reflect on their experience in the School Enterprise Challenge so far.

Which aspect of taking part in the School Enterprise Challenge have you enjoyed the most?

YAP - Nikita Soni (2)Nikita: “The Fundraising event turned out to be the most enjoyable part of the School Enterprise Challenge. The event brought us across the situation of an actual business. We could see and feel what customers look for: their outlook while shopping, their positive encouraging statements along with some negative replies. We faced the problems which we had read about in the books and learnt how to manage them in real life. We saw how in practice certain circumstances showed up unexpectedly and how team work and mutual support helped us get out of them. These events imbibed in us valuable experience and confidence.”

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