McKinney PS pupils get down to business

The children of McKinney School
The children of McKinney School

McKinney Primary School pupils in Dundrod had every reason to celebrate when they won the pretigious 2015 Biz Cubs programme for young entrepreneurs.

The 28 pupils involved helped generate an overall profit of £541 after expenses, equating to £22.54 of income generated per pupil.

Over 270 primary six and seven pupils across 10 primary schools in the Lisburn area, participated in the pilot scheme of the new Biz Cubs programme created funded and supported by Lisburn Enterprise Organisation.

Nick Fenton, former chairman of Lisburn Enterprise Organisation, said the decision to fund this initiative to primary schools was ‘an opportunity to develop enterprising skills’ in the very young in a fun and supportive environment with their friends, with the benefit of teaching pupils the value of money and how they can each harness their individual ideas and generate sales from this.

“It, at the same time, helps in improving computer skills, art design and creative skills as well as enabling them to put mathematics into practice,” he said.

“Private enterprise is vital to the economy of Northern Ireland. It is essential therefore that the seed of enterprise is sown in the very young at the earliest opportunity while at the same time making it fun both for the kids and teaching staff involved. I think that this Biz Club Programme achieves that.”

The Biz Cubs programme for local Primary Schools assists in promoting entrepreneurship to the younger generation; it helps develop their individual skills set and assists with their curriculum based learning. It provides participants with the opportunity to set up and run their own mini enterprise with their class colleagues, giving them a taste for enterprise.

Benefiting from a grant of £100, the 10 local primary schools involved each used their £100 capital investment to generate as much profit as possible through various enterprising ideas, such as smoothies, personalised water bottles, car washes, brooches, bracelets, hairbands, bath bombs, cards and plants.

Ballymacward PS generated £41.29 income per pupil, so although their overall profit was below the winning school, their level of income is to be commended for just 7 pupils involved. Having participated in the Biz Cubs programme, Ballymacward PS also used this as a basis to enter the Sentinus Junior Industry Challenge and were successfully awarded a Gold Award. They have been invited to attend an event at University of Ulster, Jordanstown.

Pond Park PS raised £640; St Joseph’s PS raised £450; Riverdale raised £405; and Ballymacash raised £259.

Other schools who took part were Ballycarrickmaddy PS, Ballymacash PS, Ballymacward PS, Largymore PS, McKinney PS, St Joseph’s PS, St Kieran’s PS, Pond Park PS, Riverdale PS and Rowandale.