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St Catherine's students pitching their entrepreneur ideas
Published
19 February 2019

St Catherine's girls have a head for business. And a heart for change.

St Catherine's girls want to enrich the world. It's right there in the school's catchcry "Love School. Embrace Life. Enrich the world" emblazoned on the school's prospectus. A new after-school enrichment program called Young Entrepreneurs has been introduced for girls from Years 9 to 12 where they are learning to grow an entrepreneurial mindset. These young businesswomen will harness their creativity, strategy, resilience and confidence to put their ideas into action to make a difference in the world.

In collaboration with Rare Birds #NextGen and startup.business who have developed targeted learning in action programs designed to inspire and empower young women to impact the world through entrepreneurship, these girls have the opportunity to really fly with their ideas.

Extensive commentary in the media, academia, and governments on the 'future of work', the implications of this for our children and the kinds of jobs they will have has meant schools need to tackle the so called soft skills such as critical thinking, communication and collaboration alongside the traditional curriculum.

Automation, digital platforms, and other innovations are changing the fundamental nature of work. Young Entrepreneurs and programs like them empower girls to see career pathways through a different lens. The skills and confidence gained through learning and adopting this mindset helps students become not only life-long questioners and learners but also have life-long employability. This is the real future of education.

Equipping students with an entrepreneurial mindset means they can develop the desired graduate qualities identified in the World Economic Forum's Top 10 skills required by 2020:

  • complex problem-solving
  • critical thinking
  • creativity
  • people management (communication)
  • working with others
  • emotional intelligence
  • judgement and decision making
  • service orientation
  • negotiation
  • cognitive flexibility (thinking outside the box).

The Young Entrepreneurs program is designed to change the mindset of students to encourage them to think critically and creatively to solve the problems they see in world. The program harnesses the girls' passions and interests using business and entrepreneurship as a vehicle for change – to empower them to become people who take action and who see possibilities and solutions.

The students are challenged to develop a business solution to a problem that is driven by their passion through the exploration of real-life case studies, connecting with local business and entrepreneurs, and seeing new businesses in action.

In the words of one 16-year-old participant "This program has encouraged me to start viewing my own ambitions and my charity as two concepts that can work together." And a 17-year-old "We had bi-weekly interaction with different start-up companies and amazing people who have successfully started their business. [The program] not only improves your confidence skills through pitching but also increases your imagination to innovate new ideas."

Life after school looks very positive for these young entrepreneurs. It is little wonder why St Cath's girls "Love school."

 

For more information please contact:
Lauren Coetzee, Marketing and Communications Manager
St Catherine's School, Waverley
lcoetzee@stcaths.nsw.edu.au