From little things, big things grow

Throughout 2018, Australia Pacific LNG, operated by ConocoPhillips Australia, has proudly sponsored the Early Preneur Program at Ambrose State School.

This program equips primary school students with entrepreneurial, business mentoring and new technologies skills. The idea was developed by the school’s principal, Andrew Collis and Start-Up Gladstone – a not-for-profit support organisation assisting local start-ups and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Andrew said that during the program's trial each term, students worked in small groups or as individuals to create a product to market and sell with the aim of earning $100 profit over an eight-week period.

“It has been amazing to watch students create all sorts of marketable items such as chicken feeders, bath bombs and fishing lures, right through to students offering mechanical repair services in the local area,” he said.

Commencing with the Year 5/6 group, the pilot program was initially launched to run with only one class. But with such unprecedented success, it was extended to the rest of the school. By the end of the school year, all 77 students had participated in the program, which earned the school a Regional Commendation at the 2018 Department of Education and Training Showcase Awards.

Several business ideas have been developed and implemented by the students selling their wares locally with all profits going towards school-based activities including excursions, purchasing educational resources and even an upgrade to the school’s shade structures. In total, over $8,000 was raised with the final cohort, Year 1 and Prep class, donating a portion of their profits to the Queensland Bushfire Appeal.

2019 will see the program extend to include a Train the Trainer module where teachers from Ambrose school will be trained to deliver the program within other schools in the region and become program mentors.

2019 will also see an expansion of the program to include three other local schools who will be rolling out the Early Preneur program with their own students.