Cork primary school students step aboard entrepreneurship bus

Sixth class students at the North Monastery Primary School have committed to a 10-week programme run by Sam’s Business Bus in which they learn entrepreneurial skills that will bring them through to secondary level.
Cork primary school students step aboard entrepreneurship bus

Sixth class pupils Kaleb Mbouwoua, twin brothers Callum and Cian Maguire on the bus, and Cullan Dunton with teacher Mr Cormac Hill and Grainne Fouhy, engagement officer with Sam's Business Bus. Pic: Larry Cummins

A CORK school has welcomed the skills and mindset that a new entrepreneurial programme has brought to its students over the last number of weeks.

Sixth class students at the North Monastery Primary School have committed to a 10-week programme run by Sam’s Business Bus in which they learn entrepreneurial skills that will bring them through to secondary level.

Sam’s Business Bus is aimed at sowing the seeds of entrepreneurship with school children and inspiring young people to become the entrepreneurs of the future.

CEO of EDelia Group and founding member of Sam’s Business Bus Roger Kelleher said that students who board the bus discover their skills in leadership and management, become more aware of their own community, and provide solutions to societal challenges.

Kathy Bradley, who designed the lessons, said Sam’s Business Bus was named to be gender-neutral, encouraging both male and female students.

She said that the name is “reflective of today’s society”, as are the contents of the programme which features four avatars who take a journey through 10 modules and is specifically and subtly designed to promote gender equality, diversity, and inclusion.

“The programme is designed with subsidiarity in mind, meaning that the teacher knows what’s best for the classroom so they know what level to introduce the concepts at, they know how to bring it to their students’ attention, and there are 10 lessons that go from an introduction to entrepreneurship into vision, mission, setting goals, and the business model canvas,” said Ms Bradley.

Sixth class pupils Kaleb Mbouwoua, twin brothers Callum and Cian Maguire with the 'bus', and Cullan Dunton, with (left) Grainne Fouhy, engagement officer with Sam's Business Bus and (right) sixth class teacher Mr Cormac Hill. Pic: Larry Cummins
Sixth class pupils Kaleb Mbouwoua, twin brothers Callum and Cian Maguire with the 'bus', and Cullan Dunton, with (left) Grainne Fouhy, engagement officer with Sam's Business Bus and (right) sixth class teacher Mr Cormac Hill. Pic: Larry Cummins

“Then there is also geography, using social concepts or SPHE or any of those lovely cross-curricular opportunities that the teacher can identify.”

Sam’s Business Bus engagement officer Gráinne Fouhy connects to the classroom virtually and works with the teacher in delivering the lessons.

Ms Fouhy said that over the last few weeks the students have been working on their own ideas and adding to their knowledge of how they can build on those ideas.

We’ve been building on what it means to be an entrepreneur, what is your vision and then what’s the mission behind it, so that’s what we’re gradually working on and it’s great to see them getting involved and they’re just so interested and excited,” said Ms Fouhy.

Sixth class teacher Cormac Hill said that the programme has “provided a platform for children thinking critically about starting up maybe their own businesses”.

“They’ve come up with their own business models and visions and mission statement so that’s what we’ve been doing for the last couple of weeks. We’re in the early days but it’s been a great insight into entrepreneurship. It’s not on the curriculum so it’s something new to them and it’s something not done before so it’s a great opportunity for them.”

Echoing his comments, vice principal Colin Daly said that the children love and look forward to the programme each week.

“It’s something that can continue even with Covid restrictions, it can be done via Zoom, and it’s quite interactive because Sam’s Business Bus send the material, it’s quite easy to use, and the children have it in front of them using the iPads that we have in the school here and so they can interact quite easily,” said Mr Daly.

“It’s fantastic for them to be starting that entrepreneurial mindset at such a young age and it carries through as they go forward into business studies and accounting for second-level and puts them in the mindset early on of what’s ahead of them.”

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