For the fourth year running, DCU Business School Master’s students participated in the School Enterprise Challenge, an international competition which promotes social entrepreneurship and youth entrepreneurship in developed and developing countries.
The School Enterprise Challenge is a global business planning and start-up awards programme for high school. It is designed to support schools all over the world to provide their students with valuable work-readiness, entrepreneurship and life skills through facilitating them to research, plan, set up and run a real student-led business.
This year over 5,000 schools participated in the School Enterprise Challenge in more than 104 countries around the world, running businesses in a huge variety of different circumstances and environments. With support and mentorship, each team creates a business plan, launches their company and then submits their final report for judging in the competition.
Over the last four years, DCU Business School Next Generation Management students have participated in the challenge acting as mentors and judges, facilitated by their lecturer Roisin Lyons. This year their participation allowed for an additional 500 schools to be included in the competition. These included high schools from Jamaica, India, Rwanda, Nigeria, New Zealand, South Africa and Singapore.
“The School Enterprise Challenge gives students an awareness of global or societal trends, while allowing them to explore the larger themes that the activity related to, such as student entrepreneurship, globalisation, CSR activities, non-profit organisations and initiatives, and entrepreneurship in developing countries”, says Roisin Lyons. “It is interesting to see how different cultures explore entrepreneurial activities and how technology has improved the connectivity between schools and countries”.
As part of the Next Generation Management module, Master’s students undertake a number of self-directed learning activities under the theme of Business & Society. The aim is to gain an insight into the extent to which social, ethical, environmental, local and global issues need be considered from a strategic perspective and the appropriate business responses and approaches for dealing with such issues and stakeholders.
“It was a wonderful opportunity for us to put some of our freshly developed skills into practice, it provided a practical opportunity for us to strategically analyse a business plan and to evaluate what we thought worked well and also to highlight areas where we felt the schools could have improved upon”, said Jack Larkin, Master’s student and SEC participant. “It provided a reality check in relation to how fortunate we are in this country and the whole experience helped to put into perspective some of our own problems and issues. It was a very refreshing experience and certainly one I would recommend.”