This year’s Blogging Mini-Competition was our most popular yet! Students from Egypt, Ghana, Afghanistan, India, Algeria, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, South Sudan, Rwanda and South Africa all shared their thoughts on a range of topics from how to come up with a great idea for a school business to investigating what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
Check out our team’s top 10 highlights from the articles we received below. To view a blog, simply click on a school’s name!
The blog from The Pen International School, Ghana is an excellent recap of how to come up with a business idea for your team. We found the article truly exhilarating and revealing. The examples given about their beekeeping and necklace making businesses both stemmed from real-life struggles of people in the community and their products have successfully resolved them all! What a combination! In the end, their concise and punchy conclusion reminds us of a simple, but powerful fact that ‘to generate business ideas, just solve peoples’ problems’. Click here to read their blog.
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…
The School Enterprise Challenge team is delighted to introduce the Blogging Mini-Competition 2018! In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know: from what it’s all about to how you can take part!
How to set up your online blog?
Getting started is easy! If you haven’t already, you’ll need to set up an online blog page. You can do this on a variety of platforms, including WordPress and Blogger. For more information check out our educational resource ‘How To Use Social Media Guide’.
Not sure what a blog looks like? Check out the fantastic school business blog by the ‘Udaan’ business team at Kulachi Hansraj Model School in India by clicking here.
Why is blogging a useful skill?
The aim of the School Enterprise Challenge is to bring 21st century skills to young people across the world. Through the Blogging Mini-Competition students will develop the following:
Written communication skills. Throughout the planning and running of their school business students are required to work as a team, giving them the chance to develop their oral communication skills and ability to work as a team. Writing a blog adds a new dimension to this as it encourages them to think about how they communicate externally, in the written form.
“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.
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!
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
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!