Pupils of Newtonmore Primary School as the Awesome Clean Team at the HI Social Enterprise in Schools Awards 2017
Schools in the Highlands and Islands can benefit from tailored support delivered by the Social Enterprise Academy which has been developed in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
The HI Social Enterprise in Schools programme builds on the success of the Social Enterprise in Education programme, which has worked with 600 schools and colleges since 2007.
The core principal of the programme is that the social enterprises are pupil-led. They decide their social purpose, do their own market research and develop and run the enterprise themselves. Each school has resources, ongoing support and opportunities to link with social entrepreneurs in their community.
This approach engages pupils of all abilities and has helped those taking part to really thrive, developing confidence and self-esteem, as well as improving behaviour and attendance.
Schools across the entire area are encouraged to take part and benefit from local expertise and support.
Pupils at Dornoch Academy are supporting three local charities with their social enterprise, Braw Chocolate.
The group sells a range of handmade chocolates to the community via pop up shops in a variety of settings, and produce special ranges for Christmas and Easter. In their first two years of operation, the pupils generated £10,000 turnover and in 2016/2017 donated a total of £900 to charities which support young carers and people with special needs.
Pupils learn hands-on production techniques, retail practice, valuable business experience, and gain Elementary Food Hygiene certification as part of working with the team.
Pupils at Plockton High School’s Gaelic Unit (Àrd-sgoil a' Phluic) have been running a social enterprise selling unique Gaelic-themed merchandise since Christmas 2015. They took part in the annual Highland Hospice Young Apprentice Competition but decided to run a social enterprise rather than a series of fundraising events.
With the support of the Social Enterprise Academy, pupils participated in a workshop - run in Gaelic - and received templates for business plans and learning resources to help them with all aspects of getting set up. The pupils have made over £1300 since December, selling Harris Tweed clocks and carved ornamental goods, and anticipate a continued annual turnover of around £1,000 per annum. During the first year of trading they have exclusively supported the Highland Hospice but are now looking for some community initiatives to get involved with. This will be a key part of their succession planning for the next academic year.
Pupils have sold their merchandise at Christmas stalls and other school events but have also expanded to take online orders through their Facebook page and have received orders from as far afield as Falkirk. The pupils also sell their products in local shops and are looking at possibilities to sell in more urban centres across Scotland.