RISE – Rotherham Inter School Enterprises – was a one-year project which facilitated 45 young people from five different schools to develop an enterprise cooperative, making and growing items to sell at a stall in Rotherham Market. It was developed by Rotherham Ready, a school improvement focused on using enterprise as a vehicle to enhance learning and participation and funded through an ESF programme.
The youngster – at risk of becoming NEET (‘not in education, employment or training’)- organised within and between schools to agree different products to buy, grow and/or manufacture, and put profits from the stall back into the enterprise co-operative in order to grow the scale of their operation over the course of the year. The ethical dimension included looking at the sustainability of food and products that were bought and sold and buying or growing locally to keep resources in the community.
Students were facilitated by a coordinator in school, a project coordinator from Rotherham Ready and a socially minded young entrepreneur Lee Bestall. They achieved a qualification and experienced the buzz of working together to run a stall which sold direct to the public (not just the usual selling to parents in the school hall). It was the first time schools had come together to cooperate in developing enterprise, instead of competing against each other in enterprise competitions and challenges.
Rotherham (South Yorkshire, England).
Five secondary schools
Socially Innovation Practitioner – Lee Bestall
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
The Town Team
– The focus was on collaboration within and across schools to develop an enterprise cooperative, instead of competition.
– Social interaction during markets was a powerful element of the programme, developing young people’s confidence and communication, and creating an inter-generational interface on the stall between young people and local people.