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CHAC launches Year 9 Social Entrepreneurship Program

CHAC launches Year 9 Social Entrepreneurship Program

Author: Barbara Mossman
Author Role: Gifted and Enterprise Education Coordinator

CHAC’s Year 9 students showed that the future is in good hands by working to develop solutions to address some of our most pressing social and environmental problems in the Year 9 Social Entrepreneurship Program held in the final week of Term 3. During the three-day program, students worked in teams to develop an idea, organisation, or business model aimed at helping make the world a better place. In particular, students were encouraged to consider the “profit for purpose” business model adopted by such organisations as Oxfam and the Thank You product range.

The program was launched by Yas Grigaliunas, co-founder of The World’s Biggest Garage Sale, who arrived by scooter (proof of her passionate commitment to sustainability) and proceeded to tell the story of her organisation’s growth from simple concept to an event that has succeeded in diverting 3.3 million kilograms of goods from landfill and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity at the same time. Students were introduced to the concept of a “circular economy” and the concept of “profit for purpose”, a philosophy endorsed by Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson who suggests: “The brands that will thrive in the coming years are the ones that have a purpose beyond profit.”

Students also participated in a high-energy Youth Digital Workshop delivered by QUT’s Creative Enterprise Australia, which focused on harnessing the power of digital media such as Youtube in order to reach audiences. ABC News attended this workshop and subsequently aired stories about CHAC’s future-focused curriculum on radio, tv and online news services. You can read the article here.

To further their understanding, students were addressed by a panel of representatives from various charity and profit-for-purpose organisations, including World Vision (Zana Bowen), World Wellness Group (Pieta Merheb), the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (Suzy Wilson), and Food Bank (Nicci Skerl), and were given the opportunity to ask questions. We greatly appreciate the time given by these individuals, two of whom are parents of past College students.

The two days that followed saw many impressive ideas developed by College students, with the winning team (Oliver Cameron, Eliza Parenti, Callum Banks, Jack Reed, and Zara Schmidt) developing the idea for a positive news app with interactive capacity to help counter the barrage of negativity contributing to the community mental health crisis. Runners-up were a team who came up with the idea for a mobile coffee van delivering workplace training to homeless people, responsive to need and location (Aidan Ahmelmann, Patrick Cox, Isobel McDonald, Rebecca Davis, and Hugh Treweek).