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Paid for by Social Enterprise Academy

School social enterprises take centre stage in this week’s Big Issue

Read how pupils are taking direct action to tackle big issues like pollution, poverty, loneliness and health.

Paid for by Social Enterprise Academy

This week’s edition of The Big Issue magazine is a special bumper edition which includes a free 24-page magazine showcasing inspiring social enterprises run by school pupils across the globe.

Our Social Enterprise Schools takeover edition is produced in partnership with the Social Enterprise Academy (SEA), a growing international organisation that supports primary and secondary schools to develop education through practical skills and solve the issues that matter most to them by setting up and running social enterprises.

UK editor of The Big Issue, Paul McNamee, said: “Each year we are knocked out when we see all the hard work and creativity that these young people put in to their social enterprises.

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“This year it’s clear that they are not just thinking about and discussing the big issues – environment, food, poverty, loneliness and mental health – but they have rolled up their sleeves and put into action their social business plans, which are clearly making a real difference.

“We are delighted to be able to share their work with Big Issue readers, and show how SEA is growing to offer this kind of support not just across the UK but internationally too.”

The 24-page mini-magazine profiles 13 small social businesses operated by children in schools across Scotland, alongside projects at schools in South Africa, Malaysia and Egypt. There is also information on how schools in London and across England can join the social enterprise revolution in 2022 and beyond.

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And pupils at 13 schools will be selling copies of the magazine at their schools for £3 to raise funds to support their social enterprises and other community organisations.

Neil McLean, chief executive of Social Enterprise Academy, said: “The partnership with The Big Issue has become an important calendar moment for everyone at the Social Enterprise Academy.

“The pupils featured in this year’s magazine are helping to create more sustainable and inclusive communities for all of us, and we want to make sure that every young person has access to this type of hands-on learning experience.

“I would encourage everybody to pick up a copy and be inspired by the change that can happen when we empower our young people to believe that they are capable of solving the social and environmental issues that keep them up at night.”

The Social Enterprise Schools programme, innovated in partnership with the Scottish Government in 2007, enables every young person to step up, realise their potential, and create the change they want to see in the world. Through the programme, the Social Enterprise Academy will provide young people from every school in Scotland the opportunity to run their own social enterprise by 2024.

This is the fourth year that SEA and The Big Issue have teamed up to produce a supplement showing what the schools have been working on, and this year shows how participating pupils are prioritising environmental impacts, thinking globally about the future and supporting those in need in their wider communities.

In the magazine pupils and teachers explain the positive effects of taking part in Social Enterprise Schools projects, from increased confidence, social skills and inclusivity, to a wide range of employability and campaigning skills.

Among the social enterprises featured include:

Kyle Academy, Ayrshire, have a pupil-run community cafe focused on sustainability with Fairtrade products and reusable or recyclable cups, and plan to build a garden to grow their own fruit and veg, while encouraging biodiversity;

Glebelands Primary, Dundee, combine environmental issues and an anti-racism message in their #dontrecycleracism campaign, working with refuse company Biffa;

Grangemouth High School, Falkirk, make glass ornaments, gifts and jewellery to sell on their own Etsy shop, supporting Strathcarron Hospice;

Inverbrothock Primary School, Arbroath, made an insect-friendly garden to encourage biodiversity, and run a gardening club and sell wildflowers to grow the business;

Kinross High School, Perth and Kinross, set up a period poverty social enterprise, providing free products and education, run by boys and girls in the school.

Introducing the supplement, Blair McMahon, Education, Marketing and Communications Officer for SEA, commented: “The young people we work with are full of incredible, world-changing ideas. Their sheer resilience as they have adapted to the ever-changing conditions in which they operate their social enterprises has been remarkable.

“We really are proud of everyone who takes part in Social Enterprise Schools. Running a social enterprise is no easy task, but the young people involved have faced the challenge head-on and done an unbelievable job.”

The magazine is on sale today for £3 from vendors across Britain – and a special edition will also be sold in schools taking part in the Big Sell-Off over the coming weeks.

If you cannot reach your local vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member. You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

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