Pinner Park Junior School have been working with Enabling Enterprise since this academic year. They wanted to take one of Challenge Days to one of their partner schools in Uganda. Here they share their experience…

Having run the ‘Greetings Cards’ enterprise project at Pinner Park Junior School already, we were keen for the learners here at Masindi public School to have a similar experience; to leave with business enterprise skills that could one day enable them to go in to business with an understanding of what is involved. In addition, we wanted them to make cards based on their own context, with local materials.

Before the day could start, we had to organise materials. Members of the PTA set about requesting cut-offs of fabric to be used (from local tailors in town); children were instructed to bring in banana/palm fibres.

On the day, we set up shop just as we had in our UK school. Beginning by introducing the challenge, we discussed greetings cards and the occasions they could be used for. Children worked in groups of around 6-7 (a class of 68 learners). For this challenge, we allowed children to choose the occasion for which they wanted to make a card.

Learners were keen to take on the challenge, knowing they could purchase materials from the shop and later make a profit. Having chosen their designs, they set about trying to make 6 of the same card. This proved a little tricky as the explanation was lost in translation and required visual examples to explain ‘the same’. However, groups made headway, some sticking to their designs, others making cards which were not pre-designed. This required further explanation and clarification, sometimes in local dialect with the help of one of their staff members.

By the afternoon, some groups had indeed made 6 cards the same and had made a considerate profit. We modelled how to deliver a ‘pitch’ so that children could both sell their cards and present their business. Three groups did exceptionally well, fulfilling all requirements for the project. In fact, one group of determined young men exceeded all expectations, making a large profit margin by lending their materials to others and charging for it (e.g. scissors because these were limited) and by selling their services in persuading the adults to buy the cards of other businesses. Therefore they generated the highest profit of all.

Overall, it was an excellent opportunity for learners to be introduced to business enterprise skills. Just like children anywhere, they had to work hard to build team cohesion by listening carefully and sharing their ideas. They had to ensure quality of their designs by appointing someone to check them and they had to be persuasive by presenting their business confidently.

In completing the Enabling Enterprise project with our link school, we were able to offer some of their learners the same opportunity that the learners in our school had. We promote a ‘match for match’ approach whereby as far as possible, we try to facilitate projects between both schools that benefit all learners.

You can find out more about our International work by clicking here.

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