Analysts at the World Economic Forum predict that in five years 35% of the competencies in demand today will change. And the main necessary competence will be the ability to solve complex problems (complex problem solving). Social school entrepreneurship(SSE) is aimed at the development of creativity, analytical thinking and the transition from theory to practice. One of the most successful cases of SSE implementation is the experience of Germany, where more than seven thousand school enterprises are registered (to get acquainted with this article you can click here)
Adolescents from 12 to 18 set up manufacturing or service companies in educational institutions. Children themselves generate business ideas, analyze the market, form the structure of the enterprise, select staff, create a logo, carry out the production process. In student firms everything it the same as in “adult” business, even financial reporting, where students independently credit the proceeds to a bank account, debit credit, compile reports and conduct audits.
What are the features of school companies in Germany?
The state must become the catalyst of this whole ecosystem, because private business is developing where the conditions are created for it. The entire German social school entrepreneurship program operates within the framework of the German Ministry of Economics and Energy’s instruction on school entrepreneurship. The state supports the development of entrepreneurial skills at the both levels: formal and non-formal education. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds a national youth competition for startups. Students develop a business plan and implement it. The competition can be introduced in schools as part of the curriculum (economics, vocational guidance, social education), but students can choose to participate in competitions outside the school.
Due to the legislative powers of the federal states in the field of education different states have different programs. Depending on the school conditions, student enterprises are implemented both within the compulsory school subjects and as separate projects that are not part of the compulsory program. In Germany there are four main forms of possible legal status for a school firm:
School firm as a separate type of school project, in this case it does not have a separate legal status.
School firm under the auspices of the school sponsorship association.
School firm in partnership with the company.
School firm as an independent commercial enterprise.
Children’s business initiatives can be supported by parents, teachers or entrepreneurs, but this is a matter for the students themselves. The pedagogical task is to provide adequate space for the creation and implementation of school entrepreneurship. As a rule, school companies do not have their own legal status, so this format is the most common way of doing school business. Such a project is legally equivalent to other school projects in any subject and has educational purposes, not profit, although its availability is allowed to a certain extent. The disadvantage of this status of the firm is the ownership of the school project and the fact that at any time under certain conditions it can be closed.
The second type of school enterprise imposes certain restrictions on the use of profits – it must be reinvested in the development of the company, and not distributed in any other way. At the same time, if a school company is established under the auspices of a non-profit organization, it is not necessary to adhere to sales and profit restrictions.
The school firm in partnership with the company is created according to the conditions established by the company, and is dissolved for a year (exclusively the format of the educational project). All legal issues are resolved by the company. Students within the framework of such a project are insured in the same way as during classes. The most famous example of such cooperation is Junior – a project of cooperation with the Institute of German Business in Cologne, which began to implement such a format of cooperation with school companies after consultation with various ministries.
And the last type of student firm – an independent commercial enterprise. Such a school firm operates within the framework of national business law, does not enjoy school protection and is completely independent in all matters.
How to choose?
The most important thing is to determine the goals that the initiators will focus on in the project: teaching students social responsibility, developing initiative, focusing students on self-employment in the future, experience in implementing real projects with identified risks and results, creating their own additional resources for school and school projects, earning pocket money for students.
Finalizing everything written above, the author would like to mention that there are so many types of social entrepreneurship that this one is just the beginning in her investigation. It is absolutely important to look at all possible kinds of this type of entrepreneurship in order to help the society to go out of financial crisis without harming the nature and each other.
*(credit to taken photo can be found here)