Junior Enterprise Program

In 2015, our Year 1 students embarked on an inquiry into How We Organise Ourselves.

The focus of this learning became the idea that small actions can facilitate big change. With this informing the program led by Junior Enterprise Leaders, Camilla Gaff and Kylie Federici, our cohort of six year old girls soon realised they were capable of bringing about powerful change.

As we worked with these open-minded girls, who embraced the notion of small action, big change so very fearlessly, we went on a journey together that was nothing short of enterprising. Using the resources at our disposal, the girls had to create a product that would appeal to a wide audience and then create a substantial number of these in a short period of time, maximising our profits to best help a remote community of girls in need.

It was during this time that we recognised the value of the process we had worked through. We had identified a need, agreed on an approach, defined our outcomes, designed our products, created models and then produced them for sale. The students moved from their planning and designing roles into sales and thrived on this opportunity. Following our Enterprise Stall, we reflected critically on our experience and identified the skills we had used and learning we had gained along the way.

The process was so exciting and the learning so extensive, that the seed of a new program was planted.

Junior Enterprise was created so that we had the opportunity to work with small teams of girls across a range of ages to develop an understanding of this ACTION process and gain experience in using it effectively.

Mrs Gaff and Mrs Federici scaffold and mentor 30 students from Years 2 - 5 through the Design Thinking Framework, building confidence and providing critical experience for them to develop and practise a range of skills, attitudes and behaviours. They endeavour to create opportunities for the girls to be involved in a number of business enterprises and social enterprises – shifting our focus to develop different skills through a wide variety of roles. In every endeavour they aim to do ‘do well and do good’.

Mentone girls are empowered by the knowledge that, whatever their age, they are capable of taking action and bringing about change. At times, this action may be school based and at other times it may have a local, national or international focus. Our members learn to look critically at the world around them and identify need.

Junior Enterprise then becomes the place where enterprising behaviours, philanthropic attitudes and financial literacy combine to bring about change and make an impact.

Junior Enterprise members must apply in writing demonstrating some understanding of what the word enterprise entails. All members are expected to attend our weekly workshops during lunchtime and to be available for all enterprising endeavours.