The University of Northampton has been teaching local school pupils the benefits of social enterprise, with a little help from a funk guitarist and a comedy theatre company.
The University’s Enterprise Club last week hosted a ‘Create Your Future’ social enterprise event for Year 12 pupils from across Northamptonshire. Pupils had the opportunity to learn about the University and what social enterprise really means, before undertaking a business exercise and pitching to a judging panel.
The pupils, from Moulton School, Kingsthorpe College, Thomas Becket Catholic School, Weavers Academy and the Bee Hive (Northgate School), were asked to get into groups and come up with a business idea that could overcome a social problem. The groups were then put through a judging process.
The competition was judged by Jamiroquai guitarist Rob Harris, Joseph Maudsley of comedy theatre company Oddsocks, the University’s Jane Badger-Jones and entrepreneur Jeryl Shepherd. The panel crowned Kingsthorpe College the winners, with their business idea ‘Greener Grass’ which focused on addressing social issues such as gang culture and drugs. The pupil’s presentation was lively, featuring singing and drama, demonstrating their business model which involved students running workshops.
The Enterprise Club will now work with Kingsthorpe College to see if they wish to pursue the business idea with University’s support.
Sharon Irwin, manager of the university’s Enterprise Club, said: “Create Your Future is an excellent way to show students the value of social enterprise and how they can run their own business, while making a positive change to society.”
Dawn Allingham, from the Bee Hive, said: “First of all a big thank you to you and all the people involved with event yesterday. As this was our first off-premise enterprise activity for the students, we were absolutely delighted with their performance.”