Social Enterprise Flourishing in Scotland’s Schools

Social Enterprise Flourishing in Scotland’s Schools
Social Enterprise Academy

In 2007 the Social Enterprise Academy began working with Determined to Succeed and Scottish Government. Our joint aim was to raise awareness of the social enterprise business model in Scotland’s schools.

By early 2008 we had created a programme which held entrepreneurial learning at its heart. The plan was to deliver social enterprise learning to educational professionals, who could then take what they had learned back to their schools. To augment and add prestige to the process we also developed materials for the classroom and a Social Enterprise in School Award – similar to Fair Trade Schools, which culminates in an annual awards event.

Demand for the programme has been strong. And the results have been inspirational. Since 2008, the Academy has worked with over 200 schools, presenting Social Enterprise School awards to 55 of them at 3 annual ceremonies attended by over 300 teachers, pupils, politicians and social entrepreneurs. Estimates suggest that through the Social Enterprise Schools initiative, over 23,000 pupils and teachers have been introduced to social enterprise. And, this year, in June, a further 25 schools will receive the Award during a ceremony at Oran Mor in Glasgow.

One of the first schools to receive the Social Enterprise in Schools Award was Stonelaw High School from South Lanarkshire. Their enterprise, Stonelaw High Fair Traders, sells fair trade goods to pupils, parents, staff, and the wider community. After reinvesting in stock, marketing, and business development, all profits are sent to South Africa to support the education of Aids orphans. From humble beginnings in a filing cabinet drawer, the enterprise has expanded and turned over tens of thousands of pounds.

The Academy were therefore delighted and proud to hear the Stonelaw Traders enhanced their reputation even more by winning the 2011 UK Young Social Enterprise of the Year Award at the prestigious UK Social Enterprise Awards in The O2 in London on Wednesday 30 March.

Stonelaw High School is not the only Social Enterprise School to be shortlisted for a prestigious award. Our Lady of Peace and Bushes Primary, both from Renfrewshire, have been shortlisted for the Entrepreneurial Learning Award in this year’s Scottish Education Awards. We have our fingers crossed.