iSE | Social Enterprise in Schools: Junior Social Entrepreneurs Make Profit for Good
Working with schools to develop child-led social enterprise solutions to tackle issues in local communities.
We have reached the end of our Social Enterprise in Schools project pilot – and boy have we and the schools learned a lot!
The tenacity and creativity of the school children – and teachers! – has come shining through the whole of this project. Their ability to get stuck in and think about what people in their communities need, and how they might be able to meet some of those needs, has been inspiring.
Children have designed surveys to research local needs as part of their geography or English curriculum, they have analysed surveys and written them up for maths and English, others in the class have designed marketing products as part of their art or design subjects, and of course business budget planning and management has provided a fascinating real-life example to work through, both for the business and forecasting their social impact budget.
Our April update featured some of the businesses that were being developed. We’ll provide more detail in our forthcoming project report, but here’s a snapshot of success from one of the schools. You can read all about the schools in the USE-IT! UIA project area here.
A community cinema reducing litter and bringing family activities to mums in Sparkbrook
At Nelson Mandela Community Primary in Sparkbrook the community cinema was a raving success. The queues for popcorn and other snacks were great, and there was a lot of take up for the children’s idea of VIP seats – charging £1 extra for a comfy cushion.
The children reached their breakeven point on the second cinema showing (impressive for any business!) and have grand plans for continuing this into the next academic year.
Alongside an anti-litter posters that the children have designed and printed, they have designed extra-curricular clubs and activities for mums and their children to give them more opportunities to spend quality time together, seeking to improving their local environment and local families’ wellbeing. When school pupils set about their research of community needs, they found that there are plenty of activities for dads to enjoy with their children in Sparkbrook, but not so many that the mums feel drawn to. So they are setting about to change that through regular activities in the autumn, again all organised by the children and paid for by their social enterprise cinema.
Time for reflection and planning for the future!
This has been a pilot running from January to July and has been evaluated by experienced educator and researcher Hannah Hames. We will share the evaluation online when it’s available at the end of the summer.
“We’re proud that this has been a really genuine pilot. The schools we have worked with all agreed to come on a journey with us to discover how this kind of project in schools could best be delivered. There have been some extraordinary successes – we’ve really seen what children can achieve when they have the freedom to tackle a problem and how communities and schools can come closer together to support each other”. Project Manager Sally Taylor
There have also been quite a few challenges and lots to learn, and in some ways this has been just as exciting. For future iterations we will be making the programme much more structured in terms of time and resources, to make it easier for the teachers to plan for implementation and to be better supported throughout. We will be able to provide dedicated training for teachers right at the start, now we know exactly what they need and when.
The other stand-out learning has been that when schools really integrate the project into all aspects of their curriculum teaching, the pupils are really enabled to fly.
Watch this space for all our detailed learning, we’ll post our project report and summary here by the end of the summer.
For more information about how the pilot worked, see our first blog feature
To hear more about individual schools, see our most recent article
To get in touch if you would be interested in financially supporting the future of this work, email: elizabeth.Forrester@i-se.co.uk
To get in touch if you’re a parent or school teacher who’d like to find out about this project for your local school, please email: elizabeth.Forrester@i-se.co.uk