This International Youth Day, young people in Australia, Scotland and Malawi are taking action and starting social enterprises to tackle the social and environmental issues that matter to them.
The Social Enterprise in Education programme empowers young people to affect social change in their communities, while developing key core employability and entrepreneurial skills for the future.
The programme was launched in Scotland in 2007 as a partnership between the Social Enterprise Academy and the Scottish Government, and has now supported over 1000 schools across Scotland to set up pupil-led social enterprises.
The first international replication of Social Enterprise Schools took place in Australia in 2016, where 13 schools took part in a pilot of the programme in rural-Victoria with Social Enterprise Academy Australia hub partner, Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship (ACRE). The first African replication of Social Enterprise Schools took place in Blantyre, Malawi in 2019, supported by the Scottish Government.
This year, young people in Australia have been creating community cafés, carwashes and aerial photography social enterprises, tackling social issues such as; climate change, isolation, and access to education for at-risk youth in rural communities.
Social enterprise examples from pupils in Scotland include; creating a range of mindfulness products to promote positive mental health, teaching computer programming to the local community to tackle unemployment, and developing an inter-generational board game to reduce isolation and loneliness among the elderly.
While pupils in Malawi are providing education supplies to local young people, supporting the elderly with their grocery shopping and helping girls who have gone into early marriages with their social enterprises.
According to the UN:
“International Youth Day 2019 will examine how Governments, young people and youth-led and youth-focused organizations, as well as other stakeholders, are transforming education so that it becomes a powerful tool to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
Emily Mnyayi, Head of Education at the Social Enterprise Academy said:
“We’re delighted to be supporting young people in Australia, Scotland, Malawi and London to set up their own social enterprises through the Social Enterprise in Education programme. Social enterprise is an ideal vehicle for young people to develop the sense of agency and core skills needed to contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals, building the kind of future we’d all like to see.”
For more information on how to get involved in the Social Enterprise in Education programme, please visit: https://www.socialenterprise.academy/ to contact the relevant hub team.