Teachers and Head Teachers are a vital part of the School Enterprise Challenge; it’s them that bring the School Enterprise Challenge to life! Not only is the programme a great way of helping your students to build business and soft skills, it will also contribute to your own Continued Professional Development (CPD). We think it is important to reward teachers who work hard to make the Challenge a success in their schools. We want to recognise teachers and head teachers who have used the School Enterprise Challenge to improve education at their school, and who have spread its benefits beyond their own school, so we created these awards to celebrate the achievements of our most outstanding teachers and head teachers.

Jamil Derbashi (Hebron Elementary School for Boys, Palestinian Territories) – 2017 Inspirational Teacher Winner

Mr. Jamil Derbashi supported his students to set up the “School Organic Cafeteria Company” in 2017, but the business’ achievements went much further than just profit. In addition to building the capacity of his students to market and manage a cafeteria, Jamil also increased their awareness of social responsibility.

As a team, they provided glasses and earphones for students with hearing and sight impairments, which not only helped these students join the school business team, but enabled them to improve their academic attendance and performance as well! Thanks to Jamil’s hard work and advocacy for school businesses, the School Organic Cafeteria Company became the first student company registered with the Palestinian Ministry of Economy and more UN schools in the area are planning on taking part in the School Enterprise Challenge next year.

Raminder Mac (Choithram School, India) – 2016 Inspirational Teacher Winner

English teacher and Dean of International Affairs Ms Raminder Mac has gone beyond the call of duty in her work with Choithram School’s business, ‘Good Earth’. She has shown extraordinary dedication, investing many hours after school and during holidays in setting up the business. She fostered a feeling of ownership amongst the students by running regular brainstorming sessions and communicating through a WhatsApp Group. She integrated lots of different subjects into the business curriculum, inviting different teachers to share their expertise and assist in developing the business. She also designed templates for different financial documents to enable her students to easily understand the financial position of the business.

Ms Mac’s hard work has not only benefitted Choithram School. She sent her students to speak on a local TV and radio channel, and she has ensured that the school business is regularly covered in the local newspapers. As a result, four additional schools have taken part in the School Enterprise Challenge. She also invited students from an orphanage to learn the art of making handicrafts from the school students, as well as organising visits of Choithram School students to underprivileged areas to distribute books, musical instruments, solar lamps and school bags bought from the profits they had generated.

As her school Principal says, “Ms. Mac believes it is imperative to empower the students with core skills and competencies to be a part of the global economy… Her vision fostered the building up of 21st century skills amongst the learners.”

Juliana Owusu-Ansah (Ghana National College, Ghana) – 2017 Head Teacher Winner

Head Teacher Mrs. Juliana Owusu-Ansah is an inspirational role model at Ghana National College. Her students started the “High School Water Company” in 2016, and grew the business in 2017. To help students achieve their business goals, Juliana provided extra classes for the team and promoted the School Enterprise Challenge extensively to parents and teachers. She really understood the value of getting the community on board.

She also encouraged her students think big about their business and, with her support, the team secured a deal with a local water provider and even spoke with members of Parliament about the benefits of being in a school business! As one student said, “we have the best principal who is on the verge of making the school a life transforming institution where students are not only taught books, but life.”

J. Mahalakshmi (Bangalore International Public School, India) – 2016 Head Teacher Winner

Mrs. J. Mahalakshmi is Head Teacher at Bangalore International Public School, and has been instrumental in guiding and motivating the school business team. She made herself available and approachable to all, whether parents or staff, students or visitors, management or principals. She organised demonstrations by well-known local personalities to benefit the team, and she taught the sales and accounts team how to use Microsoft Excel and HTML, saving them the effort of recording their accounts manually. She promoted the School Enterprise Challenge to local principals, and offered them partnership and guidelines to help them get started. She’s also actively promoted the School Enterprise Challenge on social media and has ensured that the school business is regularly covered in the local press.

The students themselves nominated their Head Teacher for the award, saying that she was “the backbone of this entire challenge”. In their words: “With her simplicity, encouragement and inspiring words she motivated our young army to achieve success”. The teachers agree: “Mrs. Mahalakshmi has shown a perfect competitor’s spirit in each and every activity of SEC and percolated it right to the primary graders. She has left no stone unturned to make this a roaring success.”