Enterprise Everywhere Series: Social Enterprise in Australia

Interested in hearing about a great example, from across the globe, of how embedding social enterprise into the curriculum can support young people to learn the skills they’ll need for for learning, life and work? Read on.

Our interesting practice pages have a wide range of enterprising approaches to learning and teaching from across schools in Scotland but our Enterprise Everywhere series we’ll be travelling a little further to find examples of enterprise in schools across the globe.

For the first instalment, we’re visiting Australia and taking a look at Myrrhee Primary School’s exemplary social enterprise work.

We’ll be sharing some great examples of enterprising learning across the world in our news posts over the coming months. Keep a look out for inspiration on how to embed enterprise in the curriculum at your school!

Myrrhee Primary School

Myrrhee Primary School, in Victoria, is a school within a rural community that have fully embedded the social enterprise model in their learning, with the help of the Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship (ACRE) and Social Enterprise Academy.

Through running their own social enterprises, participants are given the opportunity to develop a range of entrepreneurial skills which will better prepare them for a rapidly changing work environment.

Myrrhee Primary School have truly embedded a social enterprise approach across the school for students, running a varied range of social enterprises over the years.

These enterprises have included monthly movie nights with snacks and meals offered to customers. The profits are then donated to a local wildlife cause that preserves the penguin population on Middle Island.

Pupils in the past also ran a wine selling social enterprise using produce from local partners. They worked on all aspects of the business from preparing the product, to design of the bottles and marketing to potential consumers.

You can see more about this amazing venture in the ‘Vine to Wine’ programme case study below.

Their latest venture from grade 5 and 6 pupils is an aerial photography business, with “Myrrhee Junior Entrepreneurs” offering local rural properties aerial shots of their grounds – they’ve had particular success with local farmers and vineyards.

The project has been fully developed by the pupils, including creating the business plan, learning how to fly the drones (!) and marketing their idea to local potential customers.

This all means their getting some real hands on experience of what it takes to run a business – while also raising money to support a local charity.

We think they’re a great example of how enterprising approaches to learning can not only support young learner’s skill development but also introduces them to a wide range of opportunities that are right on their doorstep in a rural community.

Enterprise Education in Australia

“We must transform our approach to learning so that current and future workers have the skills employers need and the cultural competencies required to thrive. This includes foundational skills, technical or job specific skills, career management capabilities and enterprise skills – often called ‘soft’ or ‘21st century’ skills.”

– Jan Owen, CEO of Foundation for Young Australian’s. (FYA)

Enterprise in Education plays a significant role in better preparing young people for the world of work.

In fact, the FYA found in their 2018 The New Work Reality report that equipping young people with enterprise skills “can increase the speed of attaining full-time work by 17 months,” after they leave education. 

You can see more about the Social Enterprise Schools programme run by Social Enterprise Academy in Australia, and you’ll hear from the pupil’s at Myrrhee Primary about their social enterprise, in this film from ACRE here:

Are you interested in introducing the Social Enterprise model in your school? Our partner Social Enterprise Academy are ready to help!

Where do you think we should go next on our Enterprising Learning Across the World series? Let us know!

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