Lanarkshire pupils celebrate social enterprise success at Dragons’ Den event

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TEN SCHOOLS from across Glasgow and Lanarkshire came together at a Dragons’ Den in Motherwell concert hall to celebrate and showcase their Social Enterprise Schools projects. 

Chapelton Primary, St Andrew’s & St Bride’s High were crowned winners on the day for their innovative responses to the business challenge set. The event followed a new pilot project for the Social Enterprise Academy in partnership with ‘Your Pay Your Way’, a social enterprise providing a programme for financial education which saw a series of workshops delivered to 14 different schools for pupils between P5-S2.

Pupils at schools across Glasgow and South and North Lanarkshire were offered an initial seed investment of £50 to start and trial their very own social enterprise project. The programme aims to show pupils the benefits and joys of running a business, work through problems and come up with their own solutions.

With the help of the workshop facilitator, Adele Prendergast from ‘Your Pay Your Way’, 12 lessons’ worth of learning materials were also created to help guide the young people through the process of starting their own social enterprise and learning more about managing money.

At the end of the pilot, schools came together in a Dragons’ Den style event to showcase the work of each school and give pupils the opportunity to present their ideas to a panel of experts.

The primary school winners were Chapelton Primary, whose idea was to make and sell an eco-friendly starter kit promoting awareness of the worries children and young people have about the future of the environment. By selling each bag for £7.50 they will make a profit of £3.06 which will be re-invested to produce more bags and promote positive mental health in children and young people.

St Andrew’s & St Bride’s High were crowned winner for the secondary school category. Pupils from the school set up an exchange scheme where people can bring along a pair of football boots which they have outgrown. They can then swap them for a pair in the same condition but a bigger size. To cover the cost there would be a small fee for each swap. The profits earned would go to fund football training for pupils who do not get any opportunities to attend a football club outside of school.

Greenhills Primary was also highly commended for the financial plan. Its social enterprise supports the provision of positive mental health activities within in the school by selling different types of bracelets that can be used to cope with anxiety. The profits go towards buying new mental health resources for class libraries and other resources to support teamwork.

Neil McLean, Chief Executive at the Social Enterprise Academy, said: “It’s always wonderful to see the ideas and creativity of the pupils at Dragons’ Den events across the country where they can really show their passion for the concepts they have created at school. The Social Enterprise Schools programme is completely pupil-led so it’s a great opportunity for them to identify social issues that matter and gain both business knowledge and valuable skills for life.”

“Working alongside social enterprise partners like Your Pay Your Way allows us to provide pupils with a better understanding of the need for financial management and better prepare them for their future.”

Adele Prendergast, Founder of Pay Your Way, said: “This was an exciting project for me, to see pupils bring together my two passions – social enterprise and financial education. I am so proud of every school that took part and was amazed at how their initial ideas had developed in the run-up to the competition. The maturity of pupils, alongside the support of teachers and Academy staff, meant we were able to explore the important topic of money and how we manage it while tackling issues that were important to each group.”

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