Make the Change is thankful to be given the opportunity to hold a 2 day workshop and impart our social entrepreneurship knowledge to the young and aspiring changemakers at Ngee Ann Polytechnic!
On the first day, everyone started with a shy introduction of themselves, together with a small ice breaker activity to get all of us comfortable with each other. As we slowly warmed up, we jumped straight into introducing what social entrepreneurship is all about. The students showed enthusiasm and eagerness to learn through their active participation, even though they were still feeling a little awkward around us. They asked many questions to clarify their doubts about social enterprises and their business models, as well as went a step further to search up about more social enterprises out there in Singapore.
After a short break, we showed the students a new side of social enterprises: How do you start one. Initially, we wanted to wow them with a new model called Design Thinking but lo and behold, they were more well versed than us in Design Thinking! *gasp generation gap* With that, we briefly touched about it as a refresher and moved on to the next tip on how to start a social enterprise. This time, we managed to wow them with a video by Simon Sinek introducing the Golden Circle Model. According to Simon, people don’t buy what you do; they buy what you do it and this serves as a reminder for all of us, especially when we are starting on a new project. With lunch time closing in, we tasked the students to break up into 2 groups and come up with their social enterprise ideas before releasing them.
Both groups came up with amazing ideas, one targeting ex-convicts and another on the visually impaired persons. But before they could carry on working on their social enterprise ideas, they had to understand their beneficiary and business in order to come up with a service or product most suitable for them. This is where we imparted our knowledge of impact measurement, empathy thinking and business innovation to them, teaching them the different ways to measure the impact of their social enterprises (Impact Measurement), the different tools to understand their target beneficiaries (Empathy Map), as well as the different leading points to probe their strategic mindset when setting up a business (Business Model Canvas)
After they were clear with their business ideas and target beneficiaries, they started creating their prototypes: the products, packaging, websites etc. The day ended with a short game, called completing the story, to summarise what they have learnt throughout day 1 of the workshop.
We met up again the next day and the students finished up working on their prototype and slides. Time was tight but all of them put in their utmost best to perfect their deliverable for the presentation later on. It was nice to see them enjoy making their products, experimenting with different tools and styles. Time passed quickly as they were concentrating on finalising their slides, they even worked on them during their break time! *the dedication tho!*
Finally, it was their long awaited presentation! They had to present to a panel of judges about their social enterprise ideas and if it is innovative and viable, the judges can choose to invest in the idea and make it come alive. We were happy and excited for the students when the judges showed interested in one of the groups’ idea and were keen to carry it out!
As they all say, all good things must come to an end. We were thankful to be able to meet such aspiring and creative young changemakers through this 2 day workshop and we hope that both ideas would be implemented and carried forward in the near future!