History of the initiative
Fawaka Entrepreneurship School is a social enterprise offering entrepreneurship education programmes for school children. Fawaka focuses particularly on involving vulnerable children and children who have difficulty accessing innovative educational programmes. The initiative encourages the participation of all children, regardless of socio-economic status, background, or learning abilities. The programmes developed by Fawaka vary in how they are presented and can be offered as an after-school or in-school activity, or as a summer school. Children learn entrepreneurial skills in a playful and positive way, with an emphasis on sustainability. The educational programmes are themed, and previous offerings have included: chocolate, fashion, robotics, health and nutrition, and upcycling.
Fawaka aims to introduce all children in the Netherlands to the concept and learnings of sustainable entrepreneurship. The core values of Fawaka are reflected in all its programmes which have an entrepreneurship education as a basis. These core values are as follows:
• Diversity and inclusion
• Talent development
• Actions speaking louder than words.
With the core value of “diversity and inclusion”, for example, Fawaka considers how children can positively identify with its teaching materials. Additionally, Fawaka also aims to have all contributors to the programmes represent the full diversity that the Netherlands has to offer, so that children can encounter a recognisable and relatable role model for themselves. These contributors include teachers, creators, bankers and entrepreneurs that participate in the creation and presentation of Fawaka’s activities.
Activities and learning outcomes
Through Fawaka’s current programme offerings children receive classes on marketing, pitching and budgeting and design. In most programmes, children will develop their own products such as clothing, in the “Fashion Entrepreneurs” programme, or a song, in “Beat Entrepreneurs”. In each of the programmes, entrepreneurship is integrated through the different themes, whether it be learning about programming, the chocolate production process, or recycling. Through the programmes, children also learn 21st century skills such as perseverance, decision-making skills and flexibility, as well as how to contribute to a sustainable society through taking action. Other competences that are highlighted in the programmes are collaboration and solution-oriented thinking.
A specific example of one of Fawaka’s programme offerings is the BuurtBizKids programme, which is focussed on social entrepreneurship in different neighbourhoods. The BuurtBizKids programme consists of a modular series of ten lessons where children explore their own neighbourhoods and find potential for improvement. Children interact with each other and converse with local residents about the challenges in their neighbourhood, under the guidance of citizenship professionals. Thereafter the children seek solutions to these challenges with the help of industry professionals. Ultimately, the children present their improvement plans to the municipality and the neighbourhood itself. Through the programme children learn about, and contribute to achieving, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 10 and SDG 11, which are about combating inequality and creating sustainable cities.
Fawaka Entrepreneurship School aims to reach children with diverse backgrounds and leaning abilities to make entrepreneurial skills accessible to all. This, while maintaining a focus on social and sustainable practices that have benefits beyond the individual.
Image credits: Fawaka Entrepreneurship School