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Uganda: Teachers embrace workshop on business implementation

On Saturday 23rd November, 28 teachers from 22 different schools across Uganda gathered to take part in a School Enterprise Challenge workshop in Kampala. The workshop, titled ‘How to implement your Business Plan with the School Enterprise Challenge’ was designed to support schools taking part in the competition to launch and develop their school businesses.

The day began with a session named ‘From paper to product”.  The teachers were split into six Business Groups based on the most common business ideas from Ugandan schools; Traditional Crafts, Vegetable Garden, Liquid Soap, Gardening Services, Piggery Project and Internet Café. In their business groups, the teachers  were given information on their “imaginary school business” such as the number of students, the location, and the different roles in the business, and the different tasks that would need to be completed.

The teachers then used this information to create an Action Plan for their “imaginary school business”, the experience of which will help them create an Action Plan for their actual school business.

The second session of the day “Can we Fix it? Yes we can!” focused on some of the most common problems faced by schools implementing and running their school businesses in Uganda ,such as  lack of support from the school administration, lack of start-up capital and lack of infrastructure. Each group were given two problems specific to their "imaginary school business" and asked to find creative solutions to these problems, and the group discovered that “every challenge has a solution !"

 

After a much appreciated lunch, the afternoon session began with “The customer is always right”. In their groups, the teachers acted out different Role Plays – which was not only extremely entertaining,  but sparked a lively discussion on the importance of good customer service. Many teachers said they were going to use these role plays to encourage their students to learn about customer service.

          

The afternoon sessions continued with “Marketing without Money” where, with support from our Volunteer Field Officer Melissa, groups brainstormed low cost marketing ideas. One group were extremely creative and managed to stretch 10,000 UGX (around £2) to buy phone airtime, transport to visit potential customers, make business cards….and they even had money left over for lunch!

     

The teachers finished the workshop with new energy to return to their schools and support their students to launch their school businesses, which range from mushroom farming, to a water kiosk, to dairy farms , bricklaying and even making fruit Jam. We look forward to following their progress. 


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