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Case Study: Mentoring for Early Years Enterprise (June 2018)
Introduction: In June 2018, Dr Julie McFarlane, an assistant professor at Heriot-Watt University, embarked on a partnership with Tannochside Primary School in South Lanarkshire. The objective was to infuse enterprise skills into the early years curriculum through an enterprise Project. A six-week initiative, inspired by a Dragon’s Den style competition, aimed at raising funds for CHAS, a hospice charity, and the remarkable outcomes it yielded.
The Challenge: The challenge was clear: How could primary school students be introduced to essential enterprise skills while also contributing to a charitable cause? The six-week program, was designed to engage students in learning about entrepreneurship, product development, budgeting, and brand development while nurturing their philanthropic spirit. It encouraged them to create and run their own businesses. The core challenge was for students to develop and sell a range of flavoured drinks. Divided into rival teams, they were tasked with applying their creativity, resourcefulness, and teamwork to devise the most enticing and marketable beverages. While fostering entrepreneurial spirit, the project also aimed at nurturing empathy. The teams set their sights on a noble goal: raising money for CHAS, a charity dedicated to supporting terminally ill youngsters in the county.
Learning Outcomes: Over the course of six weeks, students gained a detailed understanding of various aspects of entrepreneurship and enterprise:
- Product Development: They learned how to conceptualise, create, and market a product.
- Budgeting: The project introduced them to financial literacy, teaching them to manage budgets effectively.
- Brand Development: Each team developed their brand identity, which included naming, packaging, and marketing strategies.
- Teamwork: The initiative encouraged collaboration, as students worked together in their teams to bring their entrepreneurial dreams to life.
Impact: The project not only equipped students with invaluable enterprise skills but also had a profound impact on the chosen charity. Through their entrepreneurial efforts, the students raised an impressive £400 for CHAS. This financial contribution played a significant role in supporting terminally ill children in the region. Moreover, the project’s immersive nature transformed the learning experience for students, making it more engaging, practical, and memorable.
Conclusion: The early years enterprise project at Tannochside Primary School stands as a testament to the power of educational mentoring in fostering innovation and community engagement. Dr Julie McFarlane’s approach not only imparted vital enterprise skills to young learners but also instilled in them the spirit of empathy and philanthropy.
What Our Students Say
I would like to thank my dissertation supervisor, Julie, for her time, guidance, support, and helpful advice throughout this research. You allowed me to understand each, and every step of the process and it would not have been possible without you. I am also thankful for your flexibility around my heavy travel schedule due to golf competitions.
Throughout the writing of this dissertation, the support received from the supervisor for the topic, Dr J McFarlane, has been hugely significant in providing guidance when attempting to write the components of the research study. In particular, the assistance provided when discussing how to proficiently write the review of literature was invaluable, as without this, managing to complete this aspect of the study in a competent manner would have been challenging. Support in all aspects of the topic, such as helping structure the dissertation effectively and responding to queries in quick manner, couldn’t be more appreciated, as this helped alleviate concerns
Julie, I was messaging you regarding this year’s support and guidance you have provided throughout the pandemic, to which I’m really grateful. Never could have imagined that I could land a 1st class in dissertation but here I am with a good grade, good overall degree and just yesterday got an offer from a sports marketing agency in London. It wouldn’t be possible without the support of individual’s like you around. Thank you.