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Uganda: Useful fun in the classroom.

Aside from the practical angle of running the businesses day to day, students are now taking ‘Business Project Lessons’ once a week. These draw on the Ugandan Entrepreneurship Curriculum, but allow students to get involved in practical classroom activities based on the school businesses that give them real life experience of planning a business. The activities are specifically designed for students without previous knowledge of business and to be as fun and engaging as possible.

   

Interactive learning: S1's get excited about their market research and S3's group together to answer their SWOT analysis questions.

The lessons have helped the students to become more familiar with the school businesses at St Denis, through a fun pub style quiz where most teams scored at least 10/13. The market research lesson asked students to think of an item they wanted to buy in the canteen that wasn’t available. Teams had to perform market research on each item before the results were analysed on the board. It turns out that milk, school ties and apples are all in great demand!

   

Market research: Ssebuguzi John Robert uses his classmates for market research on selling torches in the school canteen. Most said they would buy a torch, but only once or twice a year. 

In order to learn the importance of the SWOT analysis, each class voted for two popular business ideas before performing a SWOT and determining which was most feasible for St Denis to start. The S3’s were interested in a poultry project and a trading business, the poultry project coming out as the best business opportunity for St Denis after an hour of SWOT analysis. The complete course aims to cover other skills such as budgeting, record keeping and marketing.

An outline of what the Business Project Lessons will cover to begin with.

It is important for rural students to learn practical business planning and management skills because a lack of formal employment opportunities in rural areas means that the majority of people use small business enterprises as their main source of income or to supplement their salaries. Most rural small business owners have no formal business training and don’t use budgeting or detailed business planning to improve their incomes or profitability. 


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