On Friday 28th September 2012, Matthew Arnold School in Staines was transformed into a social enterprise hub as part of The Social Entrepreneurship Challenge, designed and run by Enabling Enterprise and Edventuring.

Year 11 students took part in the programme which involved them identifying challenges faced by their community and coming up with solutions and socially motivated projects that could improve or enrich the lives of members of that community.

Having come up with a workable idea for their social enterprise, the students produced promotional and marketing materials which would later be used to advertise their stands during a trade fair, to which teachers and other members of the community were invited. The trade fair gave students the chance to pitch their ideas to people who may be interested in using their services or getting involved in their projects, and it has to be said the Year 11s really made the most of this opportunity! They not only produced an excellent range of eye-catching and informative marketing materials but pitched their business ideas with growing confidence, enthusiasm and ingenuity.

Many of the ideas presented were very thoughtful and showed a real awareness of issues within the community or gaps in current services, as well as great creativity and ingenuity in coming up with solutions to these. One of the two runners-up, a group named Five Girls and Him, came up with the idea of providing a mentoring and peer counselling service to students in Years 7 and 8. The service they envisaged would be confidential, run by older students for younger students and would involve offering support and advice to pupils struggling with a variety of issues, from bullying and low self-esteem to social problems and family issues. The other runner-up team suggested setting up a social enterprise aimed at renovating and rejuvenating areas of the community currently in disrepair. They would employ keen young people with a talent for art and an interest in the community to put their talents to good use making run-down areas more attractive through art and rejuvenation projects.

Each runner up will now have a chance to pitch their social enterprise idea to a London business and, if they are successful, to win £300 towards making their intended project a reality!

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One Response to “Matthew Arnold School – A New Generation of Social Entrepreneurs”

  • About | Enabling Enterprise Education January 8, 2013

    [...] 9. Help Someone There’s no better feeling than when you know that something you have done will make someone else’s life a bit better, no matter how small the difference. Students all over country have cottoned onto this, getting stuck into social entrepreneurship. From helping younger children to read to visiting nearby nursing homes, from setting up community gardens to local music festivals, they have been doing some truly inspiring work. Here’s what it looked like in one school. [...]

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