Social Enterprise in a Box – school-based retail social enterprise!

Social Enterprise in a Box – create a social enterprise at your school!

All Australia’s States and Territories are exploring ways to build students’ 21st century skills and how teachers can best champion this.

Young Change Agents’ Social Enterprise in a Box initiative is an innovative way for youth to build social enterprise skills in school, be rewarded for learning and support the local community. Our approach is an Australia-first.

Through Social Enterprise in a Box, youth learn four key skills:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Financial literacy
  • Retail soft skills
  • Sustainability

At Merrylands East Public School in 2019, Young Change Agents partnered with school principal John Goh and social enterprises Good 360 and Studio A to build a retail shop at the school.

The shop is called Dorehami – the name created by the students themselves, meaning ‘as one, togetherness’ in Persian (the heritage of many of the students).

Each student worked their way through Young Change Agents modules teaching them what a social enterprise is and how they apply these skills in a retail context. Students had a digital bank account (at Merrylands East, it was called ‘Merrylands-Coin!’) where they could save, spend or give away their money. They earned money through creating products and selling them wholesale, volunteering in the shop or for displaying the school values.

We partnered with numerous social enterprises to launch this project at Merrylands East:

  1. Good 360a social enterprise that matches products with charities/ schools, so their products sat alongside the student’s own products created as part of our programs
  2. Studio A: exists to give artists with an intellectual disability a space to produce and sell their own work – one talented artist created a mural within the shop!
  3. Makerspace & Co: created the shop’s counter out of reclaimed wood
  4. Dynamic 4: developed the Retails Rewards platform

John Goh, Principal Merrylands East shares his thoughts on Socent in a Box’s impact:

‘It’s an opportunity to have authentic learning, where we can bring the students’ ideas to reality. In this program our students go through a process of design thinking. They come up with a concept or idea, then test this out through creating prototypes and coming up with their own products through a range of strategies.’

Explore the shop, hear more from John and youth about what they learned, in this video:

Let us know if you’d like to chat more about how we can bring this to life at your school!