Cork Primary School students get on the entrepreneurship bus

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Cork School has welcomed the skills and mindset that the new entrepreneurship program has brought to its students over the past weeks.

Sixth graders at North Monastery Elementary School have committed to a 10-week program run by Sam’s Business Bus where they learn entrepreneurial skills that will take them to the secondary level.

Sam’s Business Bus aims to sow the seeds of entrepreneurship with school children and inspire young people to become entrepreneurs of the future.

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

Kathy Bradley, who designed the lessons, said the name Sam’s business bus was chosen to be gender-neutral, encouraging male and female students alike.

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

“The program is designed with dependency in mind, which means the teacher knows what’s best for the classroom so they know the level at which concepts should be presented, and they know how to get their students’ attention to it, and there are 10 lessons that go from an introduction to entrepreneurship to vision, mission, and goal setting, and business model,” Ms. Bradley said.

Sixth graders Caleb Mboa, twin brothers Callum and Sian Maguire with ‘Bus’, and Colan Dunton, with (left) Green Fohey, Sam’s Business Bus Liaison Officer and Sixth Grade Teacher (right) Mr. Cormac Hill. Pic: Larry Cummins

“Then there’s also geography, using social concepts or SPHE or any of those beautiful cross-curricular opportunities that a teacher can identify.”

Green Fohey, Sam’s Business Bus liaison, calls virtually into the classroom and works with the teacher on lessons.

Ms. Foyi said that over the past few weeks, students have worked on their own ideas and added to their knowledge of how to build on those ideas.

We have been building on what it means to be an entrepreneur, what is your vision and then what is the mission behind it, so this is what we are gradually working on and it is great to see them participating and they are very interested.

Sixth-grade teacher Cormac Hill said the program “provided a platform for children to think critically about possibly starting their own businesses.”

“They came up with their business models, visions, and mission statement, and that’s what we’ve been doing for the past two weeks. We’re in the early days, but it’s been an insight into entrepreneurship. It’s not in the curriculum, so it’s something new to them and it hasn’t been done before, so It’s a great opportunity for them.”

Echoing his comments, Deputy Director Colin Daly said the kids love the program and look forward to it every week.

“It’s something that can go on even with Covid restrictions, it can be done via Zoom, it’s completely interactive because Sam’s Business Bus sends material, it’s very easy to use, and kids put it in front of them with the iPads we use,” Daly said.

“It is great for them to start this entrepreneurial mindset at such a young age and continue it as they progress in their Level 2 business and accounting studies and put them in an early mindset of what lies ahead.”

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