Three Years of the CK Challenge at Brisbane Central State School
In recent months the Queensland government has allocated $76 million of its budget to fostering the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, recognising that it is entrepreneurs who create jobs and are the lifeblood of the Australian economy. Brisbane Central State School has had a head start on developing entrepreneurial thinking within their school by participating in Club Kidpreneur’s CK Challenge over the past three years. Annette Somerville, year 6 teacher at Brisbane Central State School, has seen the program grow from strength to strength each time she has run this program where students learn to build and launch their own businesses so they can donate all profits to a worthy cause of their choice.
In 2013, Annette attended the Halogen National Young Leaders Day event with her students. There Creel Price, Founder of Club Kidpreneur, spoke about how starting his first micro-enterprise at the age of 11 gave him the financial literacy and life skills to thrive in his adult career. Creel shared how the CK Challenge program can help kids develop the same entrepreneurial skills he gained as a kid (watch the video here). The enthusiasm of Annette’s students motivated her to start the CK Challenge in term 3 that year and she has since run it annually with her class.
In the CK Challenge kids work through a 12-step curriculum to build and launch their own micro-enterprise, sell their products at a local market day and donate all profits to a charity of their choosing. Confidence, financial literacy, and creativity are a few vital life skills that an entrepreneurial experience can develop within children. Annette states, “I could see personally the skills that they learned by doing it. So there was not only the academic skills but the life skills that they learned…like cooperating and problem solving… They have to learn to make decisions together and collaborate.” The CK program is fully mapped to the Australian Curriculum for academic learning, but is also designed to foster broader life skills in the next generation.
Through learning to start their own businesses at a young age, kids can develop the adaptability and resilience that will prepare them to face life’s inevitable challenges. Annette saw her students grow in this area at their CK Challenge Market Day. “One business (picture frames) completely sold out and so they ran a side business to meet their target goal. They decided that they would not make their targeted amount just by selling all their frames so taking advantage of our really hot weather and using their position in the market, they sold a lot of ice tea as well. They also took photos of the school and glued them on card to add to their products for sale. I was really impressed.”
Community engagement is important for the growth and success of the kidpreneurs’ businesses and a great opportunity for the school to connect with their local area. Annette explains, “If you do the right amount of communicating with parents and the community in general there is overwhelming support. One of my group wanted yoghurt containers. They asked at assembly and advertised in the school newsletter and they had about 40 within no time.” Annette took this a step further and invited her local mayor to launch the program at the start and then to attend their Market Day. “Our local councillor who came to the launch with the Mayor visited each business and purchased something from everyone. She was lovely and asked them all about their journey.”
See the Lord Mayor launching the program on Channel 9 News below.
Annette enabled her students to gain access to real-world customers and also increased participation in other school activities by having students sell products at their school art show. She states, “The art show organisers believed that it was the Kidpreneurs that made the art show such a success as it brought in the crowds and was of great interest.”
To help increase the students’ social conscience, they were encouraged to research and choose a charity to donate their profits to. Annette states, “My students have supported a wide variety of charities during the last two challenges…In each case I have supervised students emailing the charities letting them know about Club Kidpreneur and what students were doing for their charity.”
“It was really a great experience and felt very proud of the way our students conducted themselves. Their customer service was lovely as well.” Annette wasn’t the only one who witnessed and appreciated the growth within her students; she had parents and students expressing interest in the CK Challenge. Annette states, “I have had many parents come up to me and ask if I will be doing it again next year and of course I would love to. Younger students in the school are all wanting to be a part of the ‘Buzz’.”
Last year, Annette returned to the Halogen National Young Leaders’ Day with one of her students to share about their experience which started at that very event. Check out the video below.
If you’re interested in introducing your school to Club Kidpreneur, we can send a letter to the principal on your behalf. Click here for more information.