An Independent Evaluation Report of the Social Enterprise in Schools Program has been launched this week in Melbourne. The report, the result of a 12-month independent evaluation of six schools participating in the pilot program was launched by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and ACRE.

As part of the program, students created, developed and ran their own businesses within their school and donated the profits to a social cause they were passionate about. Modelled on a highly successful initiative of the Social Enterprise Academy (SEA) in Scotland, this program brings students, teachers, parents, local entrepreneurs and community leaders together to make a positive social impact.

Commenting on the release of the report, ACRE CEO Matt Pflahert said: “This program puts young people in the driver’s seat for developing 21st century enterprise and collaboration skills, attitudes and behaviours. He said the report had shown the program “helped prepare students for further education and employment in the future, shifting their mindset from job Seeker to job creator through hands-on business  experience.”

The student-run business enterprises developed as part of the pilot program included:

  • St Joseph’s Primary School, Beechworth, whose students ran Historic Tours of Beechworth for visiting schools (Pictured above)
  • A Car Wash Café by students at Whitfield Primary School
  • Wodonga Flexible Learning Centre students created the AOK Café at the Albury Base Hospital
  • Mooroopna Primary School students launched the Sixers Café which runs one day a week

Among the findings of the report being launched this week were that:

  • The Social Enterprise in Schools program engaged students of all ages and could be adapted for students across age levels and different types  of education
  • Students learned to create and drive their own business enterprises and make critical decisions
  • The skills students gained from the program were relevant and meaningful
  • The program could be easily adapted to fit across the Australian schools curriculum
  • The program created an awareness in students of social issues.

View the full report below:

Evaluation Report – Social Enterprise in Schools Program