150 young social entrepreneurs from 13 schools across the City of Glasgow came together to pitch their innovative ideas at the Glasgow Schools Social Enterprise Dragon’s Den last week. Established in partnership with Social Enterprise Academy, Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Social Enterprise Network, the event is part of the Social Enterprise in Education Programme delivered by Social Enterprise Academy and funded by Scottish Government.
Following on from the success of its debut in 2012, this annual event held in Glasgow City Chambers, sees pupils come together to meet and exchange their learning with other schools in the city, and take on a panel of social entrepreneur Dragons as they pitch for seed funding.
Pupils bravely stood up and presented their enterprising ideas to address social and community issues that really mattered to them, ranging from cross-cultural learning and providing relief for refugees, to supporting young carers in the East End of Glasgow. One school even ‘rapped’ their social enterprise idea!
Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said: “I’m delighted to hear about the wide range of inspirational social enterprises being set up in schools across Glasgow and would like to congratulate the winners and also all of the runners up on their achievements. Social Enterprise models the Scottish Government’s commitment to inclusive economic growth and it is heartening that these young entrepreneurs are putting this into practice so early on”.
The Best Primary School and overall Dragon’s Den winners, ‘Café Connect’ at St. Albert’s Primary, sought to create a safe and open café space for families, carers and the wider community of various nationalities and faiths to come together and learn about their different cultures. Their pitch was delivered with real passion and energy that the judges found to be a winning combination, offering the ultimate £100 seed funding to the school.
Inspired by the resilience and strength of a fellow pupil who provides care for her Granddad, the Best Secondary School winners, ‘SMART’ of St. Mungo’s Academy, wanted to give something back to hundreds of young carers who often do a thankless task. Their confident and professional pitch presented a robust stationery and plaque-making business model to generate income for East End Carers charity.
The overall winners, St Albert’s Primary with “Café Connect” showed great sensitivity and care for the needs of a multicultural community in coming up with the design for their social enterprise – helping different groups integrate, learn English and providing a welcome to refugee families in the area,” said Alex Neil.
Judge Gerry Higgins, CEO of CEIS Group and Director of Social Value Lab, was so impressed by the quality of business pitches from all eighteen pitches from the thirteen schools , he announced a further donation to allow every school to receive a small pot of start-up funding.
“In a world of negativity, the event was overwhelmingly inspirational, and I realised that I was looking at Glasgow’s future entrepreneurs who really understood about having social aims,” Judge Betty Elliot from The Spark.
“I really enjoyed being a “dragon” at the Glasgow Schools Social Enterprise Dragons Den. The schools had some great ideas for social enterprises, and I was particularly impressed with how well the young people presented. We met some really inspiring future social entrepreneurs, and I look forward to hearing how their enterprises progress”. Mark Irwin, Principal Officer – STEM Innovation, Education Services, Glasgow City Council
All of the Glasgow schools are now being put forward for the Social Enterprise in Education Awards in Edinburgh this June 2016.
Glasgow Schools Dragons’ Den | Schools taking part:
St Paul’s Primary, Shettleston
Drumchapel High School
St Albert’s Primary
Haghill Park Primary School
Hollybrook Academy School
St Marnock’s Primary
Drumchapel High School
St Monica’s Primary
St Mungo’s Academy
Gerry Higgins | CEIS and Social Value Lab
Betty Elliott | The Spark
Mark Irvine | Glasgow City Council
1. Social Enterprise Academy
The Social Enterprise in Education Programme provides hands-on support to set up pupil-led social enterprises in schools across Scotland. Schools benefit from a National Award, resources linked to the Curriculum for Excellence, and more connections with their community and other schools.
Social Enterprise Academy is a social enterprise delivering learning and development programmes for anyone working for social purpose.
2. Glasgow Social Enterprise Network
GSEN is a membership network of Greater Glasgow social enterprise leaders who believe that social enterprise can transform the economic, environmental, social, and cultural life of Glasgow.
By supporting, promoting and developing social enterprise we aim to create an environment in Glasgow in which social enterprise is able to flourish.
3. Glasgow City Council
Enterprise-focused activity will begin with young people at primary school and into secondary education with the aim of increasing the number of young people in Glasgow schools who have experience of enterprise-related activity. In partnership with Glasgow Social Enterprise Network, Enterprise will concentrate on developing entrepreneurial skills especially linked to Social Enterprise – both in terms of personal effectiveness, motivation, creativity etc. and more technical skills such as financial capability and business planning.
13 schools with 18 Groups participating
Judges – Gerry Higgins, Betty Elliot and Mark Irwin
Support by Glasgow City Council, GSEN and CEIS Group
Winners of Best Secondary £100
Winners of Best Primary £100
All runners up £50