Two students from Kempsey High School recently traveled to Sydney for the Brilliant Business Kids Festival on November 25 at the University of Sydney Business School.
Earlier this year, students from Kempsey High School participated in a startup.business Young Entrepreneurs Learning in Action Program. Mr Gavin Saul took on the role of mentor, as they guided students down the road of entrepreneurship to create and pitch an innovative business idea that solves a problem in agriculture.
Year 7 student Ellie Prior and Year 8 student Freya Weismantel were awarded first place from Kempsey High School in the new agriculture program and went to Sydney last week for the National pitching session.
Young innovators and entrepreneurs gathered from all across Australia for masterclasses, panel discussions and a pitching competition as part of the Brilliant Business Kids Festival last week.
The festival was the brainchild of Optus My Business Businesswoman of the Year and serial entrepreneur Jo Burston, who earlier this year launched the startup.business Entrepreneurial Learning in Action Programs in curriculum in Secondary Schools around the country.
Ms Burston said that entrepreneurs are made, not born, and that through the journey of establishing a business idea that solves a problem like an entrepreneur does, there is a shift in mindset. Students learn strategic problem solving, boost imagination and creativity, collaborate on ideas, and gain resilience from seeing that failure is simply a question mark, rather than a full stop.
“It was the best kids entrepreneurship day ever. 70 people engaged, informed, asking, trying, doing and reflecting as emerging entrepreneurs. You cannot learn this in a book,” Ms Burston said.
“Entrepreneurship is learned in the thick of things, solving problems, making decisions and doing it with people who give themselves permission to fail and seek knowledge to make a vision real.”
“This is our next generation of makers, doers, inventors and innovators. We owe it to them to give them opportunity and exposure. startup.business is doing just that.”
The full-day program was officially opened by Mr Jonathan O’Dea, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier and Treasurer, who spoke about the importance of educating young people on the skills they need to be prepared for entering the workforce of the future.
Other notable presenters were:
- Dr Phil Lambert PSM, who is the lead curriculum expert to the OECD's Education 2030 project and Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney
- Jack Mansfield, Innovation Development Manager Small & Medium Business, Optus Innovation Hub
- Brian Dorricott, Lead Facilitator ON Accelerator Lean Innovation and Startup Programs, CSIRO
- Lali Wiratunga, National Manager, Westpac Davidson Institute
Ellie and Freya were one of a group of five schools from across Australia that scored within four points of the winners. They designed the idea of a sensor for a cattle feed bin called the Frellie Feeder.
Principal Mick Eller, teacher Gavin Saul and a large cohort of parents also made the trip to show their support for the girls.