iSE | Social Enterprise In Schools

A pilot programme exploring the potential of child-led social enterprise development in primary schools in the West Midlands.





Empowering children to make a difference in their communities and understand the potential of social enterprise – for them and the people around them.

The Social Enterprise in Schools Project (SEiS) will provide teachers and children with inspiration, opportunity and support to set up social businesses that raise funds for, or seek to directly improve, a social problem that the school children have identified and wish to solve. The project is being delivered by iSE in partnership with Boost Impact as part of the EU funded USE-It! UIA Project.

The idea is to empower young people to become change-makers, raising confidence and aspirations and learning all manner of academic and life skills in the process.

The pilot will be delivered during class time  in six schools across Birmingham and Smethwick between January and July 2019, with three of the schools in the Use-It UIA project area and another three from across Birmingham.

Schools and education specialists have helped us to devise the programme according to what will work best within the curriculum and for their children.

 The Why

Project manager Sally Taylor tells us of the school children who inspired her and iSE to develop the project:

“At the Social Enterprise World Forum we heard from four primary school children about their successes growing social enterprises at their school in Glasgow.

The impact on the children in terms of confidence, increased aspiration, empathy, business skills and curriculum-based benefits like literacy and numeracy, was obvious and infectious.

On top of that, the benefit these children were having on their communities was clear – tangible and positive change in response to real problems and using available assets.  We had to find a way to bring that back to our communities.”

The How

The SEiS programme draws on learning and inspiration from initiatives being developed globally, including our near neighbours in Scotland.

This pilot has been designed in consultation with four schools who have supported with discussion, feedback and enthusiasm.  Birmingham Education Partnership (BEP) and the Resilience in Schools team at Birmingham City Council have also been instrumental in helping think through the benefits and practicalities of the programme, and in linking us to schools.

Insight shared by personnel and online resources from the Social Enterprise Academy (SEA) and classroom resources published by the British Council in partnership with SEA, have been vital too, in helping us to learn about what works or doesn’t work in this context and what support is already available to schools.

The schools involved in the project are:

Hillstone Primary School, Shard End

James Watt Primary School, Handsworth

Little Sutton Primary School, Sutton Coldfield

Nelson Mandela Community School, Sparkbrook

Oasis Foundry School, Winson Green

Shireland Hall Primary School, Smethwick

We will post links to regular blog updates to share how the schools are getting on.

For enquiries, please contact iSE