Supporter / Facilitator / Youth worker
Facilitators. We are both occupational therapists and currently work with a group of students with intellectual disabilities between the ages of 16 and 26.
Description of your role
We had to put together a program to educate on school entrepreneurship, for which we had to know and learn about tools for entrepreneurship, and then transfer this learning to our special school.
Previous experience in enterprise development
We had not had previous experience with the area of entrepreneurship, but both of us have worked in labor intermediation for people with disabilities. Eugenia had the opportunity to take an entrepreneurship course a few years ago where she learned about tools such as the CANVA method for entrepreneurship. For my part, I was able to participate in the creation of the content modules developed for the StarUp project, so both of us were able to complement what we know and put together the program.
Students and educators of Paul Harris School (students with special educational needs)
Field of Business
The entrepreneurship program contemplates delivering basic notions about entrepreneurship skills that can be experienced in significant school projects. Therefore, the explored areas are related to environmentally friendly projects, promoting the use of natural resources such as an organic school garden, and extracting from it products that can be marketed in the future.
Many of our students have learning difficulties and illiteracy. Therefore, it is a great challenge to educate abstract concepts of entrepreneurship skills using simple and easily understood examples and experiences. On the other hand, it was also necessary to educate the educational team, and motivate families to get excited about getting involved in the program.
Lavender aromatic infusions and bags
We found that our school garden produced a large number of herbs that were easy to maintain by the students. They themselves, from organic waste, began to produce fertilizers and work the land. Later we were sourrounded in large quantities of lavender flowers. A member of the community suggested that we harvest the lavender flowers, dry them, and store them in cloth bags to later offer them as a gift. Later the idea arose of making bags of infusions with these herbs.
The idea is still in an early stage, we have devised several prototypes of infusions to calculate that the production costs are compatible with the skills of our young people.
Carrying out a good level of productivity is a great challenge for a school, since there are many other activities that young people must be involved in, and there is not always enough time.
We had extensive knowledge about the support needs that our students with intellectual disabilities may require, however, we had no idea about the challenges that could be generated when undertaking. The section related to business development helped us a lot to consider the stages that we should contemplate.
What are your plans for the future ?
We are making alliances with the local government so that they allow us to show our products in fairs and shopping centers located in our community. Our goal is to produce a large number of products to have a stock that can be sold at fairs.
We also want to involve families and make them protagonists of this initiative.