2012 Social Enterprise in Schools Awards

2012 Social Enterprise in Schools Awards
Social Enterprise Academy

On Tuesday 19th June 2012 over 250 young people, teachers and guests from schools across Scotland came together to celebrate their success in setting up and running their own school based social enterprises.  


The Awards Ceremony, hosted by Primary 7 pupils from St Nicholas Primary School in Broxburn, West Lothian, is the 5th Awards Ceremony organised by the Scottish Social Enterprise Academy (SSEA). The SSEA has been working with schools and teachers since 2007 providing CPD, support in the classroom from the Academy’s tutors and education team and resources and materials to help teachers and pupils understand the business model that underpins social enterprises. 


Joined by Mr John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, their teachers, parents, business leaders and social entrepreneurs, young people from 27 schools took to the stage at the Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh to collect their certificates from Mr Swinney.


Social enterprises in schools are led by pupils, and aspire to make a positive and responsive change to people’s lives. The young people themselves, ranging from 3 to 18 years old, identify their social aims and decide on the trading activity that will enable them to set up and run creative, dynamic and enterprising social enterprises. They are entrepreneurial, with clear trading activity which directly involves producing goods or services to a market. They are connected to the community with explicit social and environmental aims and their profits are used for this purpose.


By establishing a social enterprise in their schools these young people are engaging in the practical and creative skills required to run a business. They are developing skills for learning, life and work, gaining in confidence, increasing their self-esteem and enriching their sense of social justice. They are having a real life learning experience that is relevant and fun!


What’s the key to success? Letting the young people own and lead their social enterprise!


These young people clearly demonstrated what Curriculum for Excellence is delivering. They are
successful learners, effective contributors, confident individuals; and responsible Citizens 


The aim of the Social Enterprise in Schools Awards programme is to:


• Develop an understanding amongst young people of the social enterprise business model
• Give young people opportunities to get involved hands on in a social enterprise in line with the principles and capacities of Curriculum for Excellence;
• Inspire teachers though CPD to help young people to develop their enterprise, entrepreneurial and
employability skills.
• Support the Scottish Government’s wish to promote awareness of social enterprise as a better way of doing business


What does a social enterprise in school look like?


Community Cafes, recycling bikes to uniforms, running events and making and selling a variety of goods. 


To gain recognition schools must demonstrate that their social enterprise is pupil led, that the profits are being used to address a social purpose or issue, that there is clear trading activity and that it is sustainable. With the support of the Social Enterprise Academy pupils can explore their ideas and prepare a business plan before setting up their own company. 


Our achievements so far


Since 2007 we have supported over 400 primary, secondary and special needs schools to establish successful, viable and actively trading social enterprises all being run by pupils – some with turnovers of up to £150,000! That’s over 24000 young people who have been exposed to real life enterprising and entrepreneurial learning.


We help them to develop their business plan, think through their social purpose, and introduce them to practicing social entrepreneurs who then act as mentors, and nurture and embed social enterprise as part of the school ethos. 


Over 900 teachers have participated in our Understanding Social Enterprise CPD Programme. Feedback from teachers tells us that participating in the programme has helped them to deliver positive outcomes in line with Curriculum for Excellence. Their feedback also indicates that the programme is having a positive effect on attendance, behaviour, confidence and self-esteem.


These positive effects were recognised formally by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education in 2011. The report also stated that teachers involved in the programme valued highly the support provided by the Academy and were very enthusiastic about the benefits to young people participating in the programme.


The programme is backed by the Scottish Governments Third Sector Team and Mr Swinney is a regular guest at the annual Awards Ceremony. He told the young people that it’s something he looks forward to every year and how impressed he was with what they, and the Academy, are achieving. Mr Swinney presented each of the 27 schools with their Award and then spent time talking to the young people and finding out more about their social enterprises. 


The Social Enterprise Academy


The Academy was set up in 2004 to facilitate inspiring leadership and enterprise programmes
across Scotland for people and organisations working for social purpose.


Our vision is of a society which combines economic activity with community benefit, a society led by dynamic social entrepreneurs. We now deliver learning programmes tailored for public, private and third sectors.


In 2008, in partnership with Scottish Government, we launched our Social Enterprise in Schools
programme. Working with teachers, delivering CPD in social enterprise, the programme supports
pupils and teachers to set up social enterprises in their schools, culminating in an Annual Social
Enterprise in Schools Awards Ceremony.