Social enterprises run by school pupils around the world are showcased in the Big Issue magazine this week, in our special Social Enterprise Schools takeover edition.
The magazine, on sale from vendors across the UK this week, includes a free 24-page supplement which profiles school social enterprise projects across the UK and further afield.
All are supported by the Social Enterprise Academy, which was founded in Scotland in 2004 to strengthen the role of social entrepreneurs in local communities through transformational learning programmes that increase their community impact. In 2007, their Social Enterprise Schools programme was established in partnership with The Scottish Government. It now operates across Scotland, England and is growing internationally.
Social Enterprise Schools enables young people to identify a social or environmental issue that is important to them, before designing and launching a trading social enterprise that will directly address the issue.
Some examples in this week’s Big Issue include:
- Sustainable food – creating food products from waste ingredients, and cooking sustainably;
- Circular fashion – sharing and upcycling clothing among pupils, and reusing textiles to create new useful items;
- Protecting the planet – growing produce, reducing waste and recycling in creative ways;
- Creating community – using community spaces to trade fairly and improve mental wellbeing through a new café culture.
Some of the School Projects Include:
- Training pupils with skills in revamping old shoes to re-sell, with funds from sales supporting mental health charities;
- A clothes swap-shop prior to a school formal dance, where pupils could anonymously choose clothes, tackling fast-fashion;
- Upcycling second-hand clothes and selling them online affordably, to avoid stigma, reduce waste and raise funds;
- A Community Cookazine with plant-based recipes sourced by pupils and vegetarian cooking workshop, to encourage their local community to stop eating meat and reduce deforestation;
- A barista service which delivers drinks and cakes to order for teachers each Friday, with funds raised supporting the community, with Christmas gifts for vulnerable young people and Easter eggs donated to a local food bank.
Big Issue Editor Paul McNamee said: “Every year when we work with the Social Enterprise Academy we see schools’ social enterprises getting bigger, bolder and more creative.
“From growing produce to making food and sharing it in their communities, to ingenious ways that pupils are upcycling clothes, to raising awareness of rainforests and helping hedgehogs to cross the road – there is so much joy and energy in these projects.