Fifth-class pupils embark on Bizworld adventure

Nizworld Clonsilla
Bizworld tutor Izabela Stankiewicz, IBM, with Auguste Klimtaviciute, Ava Bell, Joshua Calarrai, Arron Donnelly and Grace Galvin, St Mochta's NS in Clonsilla

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26 June 2017 | 0

A calming kit to help those who are panicked or anxious at school, a pen which alerts the user if they are near any food they are allergic to and an anti-bullying phone app are just some of the projects developed by fifth-class students at Bizworld workshops taking place around the country.

More than 40,000 children have taken part in free two-day workshops, with more than 200 schools hosting programmes this year.

Bizworld is a not-for-profit organisation, chaired by entrepreneur Gavin Duffy, that promotes entrepreneurship skills where pupils learn about money management and enterprise.

During workshops, pupils are split into groups, each developing their own mini enterprise, moving from company formation and applying for jobs in their companies, to market research with younger classes in the school, and then designing, producing and marketing their business idea.

They learn about pitching for investment and get the opportunity to do so in real-life to visiting ‘dragons’ who hear each company’s pitch and decide how many BizBucks to invest in their company.

“Our idea is not to produce products, simply to inspire and give children the confidence to say what is in their heads,” said Duffy. “I think that it is vital that we instill entrepreneurial skills into our young people at as early a stage as possible. As we move away from permanent employment, the likelihood is that many of these students will have to sell their own services to the job market when they graduate from college.

“By taking part in Bizworld, pupils will practice skills in communicating, negotiating and developing a business. What I love most about the process is that it naturally develops the creativity, resilience and adaptability skills which this age group possess.”

Bizworld CEO Fiona McKeon said: “Bizworld aims to address the lack of business education in primary schools and feed the students’ appetites for making commercial subject choices at second level… We are reaching students at a stage when their enthusiasm is in abundance because in many cases, that spontaneity and creativity is sealed in a box for secondary school and never opened again.

“In the Bizworld workshops, every child communicates, negotiates and helps to develop a socially responsible business in a fully-inclusive manner.

“Everybody gets a director’s role in the company that suits their personality and skills, from marketing to design, sales and finance.

“The experience consistently helps children to understand their strengths, ambitions and future potential.”

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