The British Council is investing in the next generation of changemakers through its Social Enterprise in Schools programme.
The programme helps students develop 21st Century enterprise skills to get them ready for work and empower them to make a valuable contribution in their communities.
Working in partnership with the Social Enterprise Academy and the Real Ideas Organisation in 2016, we developed free lesson plans and teaching resources that help pupils gain hands-on experience of social enterprise.
To date, the programme has reached 40,000 students worldwide.
Recycling in Jamaica
Students at Guy’s Hill High School in Jamaica have developed a social enterprise to promote recycling, reduce waste and generate an income.
They create light bulbs out of recycled materials and natural products like bamboo and put them into everything from headlamps to pens.
Student Nickalos Lewis says, “I want to see changes around me that can create a positive impact on everyone.”
Joan Davis, the principal, says students are proud of what they’ve achieved. “They have a different walk,” she says, “they have a different pep because they think this is very special.”
Helping the homeless and unemployed in Greece
Students of the Larissa Vocational Education and Training School developed a social enterprise that promotes the medical use of herbs and healing plants from the area around Mount Olympus, the home of the gods in Greek mythology.
They harvest the herbs and plants in an environmentally sensitive way and produce and sell homeopathic products. They also deliver seminars and run tours and campaigns to raise awareness. Their aim is to help poor farmers diversify and maintain a decent living.
Food habits was developed by a group of young people based in a remote and deprived area of northern Greece. Young people were concerned by an increase in homeless people especially during Covid-19. So, they created street food stands that offer employment for the homeless and provide affordable food to low income families in the communities. Profits would be donated to the local homeless centre.
Sports centre for the disabled in Kazakhstan
Gulden is primary school teacher and mother of four in Western Kazakhstan who participated in a social enterprise and education programme offered by the British Council and Chevron.
While taking part, she developed her own social enterprise and secured $3,000 in seed funding through a start-up competition.
Gulden used the funds to open a spacious sports centre that welcomes students with disabilities. She says that sports training helps disabled students boost their skills, confidence and future prospects and that the sports centre helps promote tolerance, human rights and equal opportunity.
Moreover, Gulden has become an ambassador for the programme who trains other social entrepreneurs.
Resources and more information are available at:
Social enterprise in schools learning resource:
SDG8 Decent work and economic growth classroom resource:
Thought leadership piece on role of SE in education:
Info on global SE programme: