Career & Education

British Council hosts Global Social Enterprise Expo tomorrow

Sunday, November 17, 2019

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The British Council will be hosting its second annual Global Social Enterprise Expo tomorrow at the Worthington, Spanish Court Hotel, in New Kingston starting at 9:00 am.

“The event is a part of the activities being observed around the world during Global Entrepreneurship Week and is a strategic activity in the multi-year Social Enterprise in Secondary Schools Programme, a partnership with Victoria Mutual Foundation Limited,” the British Council said in a news release.

According to the council, this year, schools will be showcasing their social enterprises. As such, the council is inviting the general public to come out and support the next wave of young social entrepreneurs and see the products and services that will help to drive change in communities and the country in general.

“The Global Social Enterprise Expo forms a critical part of the Social Enterprise in Secondary School Programme, as it highlights the amazing work that our schools, young people and their teachers would have done since the inception of this programme,” explained Damion Campbell, social enterprise and youth engagement manager at the British Council.

The aim of the Social Enterprise in Secondary Schools Programme is to increase students' knowledge of social innovation and entrepreneurship. Using the British Council's Social Enterprise in Schools Resource Pack, which also incorporates the council's core skills, it is expected that this programme will help to address the gap in global skills development which is critical to meeting the needs of students in the 21st century in a globalised economy.

In addition to the six core skills critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration and communication, creativity and imagination, citizenship, digital literacy, and student leadership the programme also includes financial literacy as the seventh core skill.

Naketa West, manager at Victoria Mutual Foundation, reaffirmed that organisation's commitment to youth development when asked about the partnership with the British Council.

“The VM Foundation has three core areas of focus: Leadership and Nation-Building, Health and Family Life, and Youth Empowerment. The Social Enterprise in Secondary School Programme falls under Youth Empowerment and we believe our youth are at the heart of positively transforming our nation. We see ourselves as partners who hold some key information, skills and opportunities to help them get there and to support them along the way,” the release quotes West.

As year three of the programme approaches, stakeholders are looking to see what the short-term benefits of their investments are. Campbell is confident the programme will deliver major impact across the island.

“It is also critical to this juncture, as we seek to provide evidence to our stakeholders and the public [of] the benefits social entrepreneurship brings to young people and vice versa, especially as it relates to 21st-century skills needed in the world of work. This will also form a springboard to continuing the discussions around entrepreneurship education in Jamaica at all levels,” Campbell said.

“The launch of the social enterprise report completed by the British Council and FHI 360 – Local Partner Development at this event also forms a greater part of our initiative to build the ecosystems and inform policy here in Jamaica,” he added.

Campbell's sentiments were echoed by West, who added: “This is a bird's-eye view of the potential that exists in our schools, communities and nation. The event is also a great opportunity for the public to see, share, support and connect. It would be great to see business owners or alumni of these schools come on board to provide further technical or financial support towards expanding these businesses as well as our programme.”

The British Council said the day will feature:

• A Social Enterprise Village featuring the schools;

• A pitch competition where schools will be competing for a pool of funds towards their social enterprise;

• Three separate panel discussions around the future of work, preparing youth for the fourth industrial revolution and resolving youth unemployment; and

• Launch of the British Council Social Enterprise Mapping Report.

The event is being supported by Global Shapers Kingston Hub; the Community Renewal Programme; Planning Institute of Jamaica; Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries; and the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange.

The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. It creates friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries in which it works.


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