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During the Term 1 holidays, Jimmy Psaltis (Year 11), Alexander Rowe (Year 11) and I embarked on a trip to Melbourne to learn more about social enterprise. We were each awarded the Day Family Foundation Prize for Social Enterprise from an initial idea and pitch for a social enterprise. Through this experience we were able to improve and refine our ideas and come closer to bringing our ideas to life.

A social enterprise is a modern take on charity. While both a charity and a social enterprise donate profits towards a cause, a charity relies on donations from others and is therefore susceptible to economic instability. Alternatively, social enterprise operates like a business. It markets and sells products at competitive rates but, unlike a business, profits are diverted to charitable causes rather than shareholders.

Going to Melbourne was an invaluable experience to improve our ideas. I found meeting with people at the Foundation for Young Australians particularly useful. We were able to gain insight into how to target a social problem with focus and come up with a solution based around the user’s needs.

The trip also included travel to incubators and other social enterprise-focussed locations. A trip to Ormond College – where we met with 2016 School Captain Hamish Litt – allowed us to see the new-age focus on this style of business. The Wade Institute, located at Ormand College, runs various courses on entrepreneurship – and we were lucky to meet with some of their social entrepreneurs.

After a jam-packed four days, we returned to Adelaide armed with new experience and knowledge to help kickstart our own social enterprises. Thank you to Day Family Foundation for making this trip possible, it was an incredible experience and we are grateful for their support. A further thank you to Mr Borgas who runs the social enterprise program – his help and guidance, and his economics background, was really beneficial to our programs.

Stay tuned for updates on our social enterprises in upcoming editions!

Ollie Kleinig (Year 11)