Irish schoolchildren have been taking part in entrepreneurial workshops, where they helped produce thoughtful inventions for their classmates.
The programmes, run by the non-profit organisation BizWorld, have taken place across more than 200 schools in Ireland, involving more than 40,000 children.
Inventions included a calming kit to help those who are panicked or anxious at school, a pen which alerts the user if they are near any food they are allergic to, an antibullying phone app and teddy bears and jewellery which alert those with vision and hearing impairment to dangers.
BizWorld promotes entrepreneurship skills for children at fifth class level through a two-day workshop where pupils learn about money management and enterprise in a supportive and creative atmosphere.
Pupils are taken through the entire entrepreneurial cycle – from company formation and applying for jobs in their companies, to market research with younger classes in the school, and then designing, producing and marketing their business idea.
They learn about pitching for investment and get the opportunity to do so in real-life to visiting Dragons who hear each company’s pitch and decide how many BizBucks to invest in their company.
Gavin Duffy, who Chairs the organisation, explained that the aim of the programme is not to merely produce products but to give children confidence to say what they are thinking.
“I think that it is vital that we instil entrepreneurial skills into our young people at as early a stage as possible,” he said.
“As we move away from permanent employment, the likelihood is that many of these students will have to sell their own services to the job market when they graduate from college.
“By taking part in Biz- World, pupils will practice skills in communicating, negotiating and developing a business.
“What I love most about the process is that it naturally develops the creativity, resilience and adaptability skills which this age group possess.”