The first meeting of the Bundaberg chapter of the Entrepreneurial Educator Exchange (E3) took place in September with the aim of expanding local entrepreneurial programs beyond the school gates.
Hosted by Kepnock State High School (KSHS) and non-profit social enterprise Youth Change Agents, nearly 40 educators, industry representatives and students gathered to learn from each other and create their own ‘ecosystem’ for change.
KSHS senior teacher Nicole Amey said the event came about as a result of a pledge she made at the E3 Entrepreneurial Education White Paper where educators from across the country gathered to create a collective vision.
Nicole was awarded the Teens Business Australian Entrepreneurial Educator in 2022.
“Entrepreneurial education is a crucial mindset as it is about developing our students' ability to create social, cultural, or economic value,” Nicole said.
“The purpose of E3 is to grow the movement of innovative educators and create a space for the best entrepreneurial educators in Australia to build a community of practice and generate systems change at the state and national level for entrepreneurial learning.”
Nicole said the long-term vision of the Bundaberg E3 Chapter was to cultivate a cycle of championing educators who can continue to facilitate entrepreneurial learning within school systems.
“There is a silo of educators in the Bundaberg Region who challenge systems change in the education landscape through various outcomes and we now need to onboard and empower champion educators,” Nicole said.
“A collective and coherent culture can integrate social enterprise with entrepreneurial education to empower our emerging leaders, our regional young people, with the toolkit to transform outcomes for societal change.”
Nicole said the way to achieve this was to set students up with the transferable skill sets across industry in order to forge successful businesses and grow more sustainable communities.
“Research indicates that an entrepreneurial mindset elevates youths’ potential with enterprise skills that are 17 months ahead of their peers in gaining full time employment,” she said.
“Sustainable entrepreneurial education and partnerships amplify the successful entrepreneurial programs beyond our school gate – we need to embed an entrepreneurial funnel to build a brains trust across educators to develop entrepreneurial mindsets in the regional community of Bundaberg and to scale the impact.”
Nicole said the next step for Bundaberg’s E3 Chapter would be to scale up, amplify and enhance the tools already put in place.
“We are calling out to all involved in our local ecosystem to get on board with the movement ‘It Takes a Village’,” she said.
“Our region has a bright future with our young people if we collectively leverage transformative outcomes, through entrepreneurial education in curriculum and extracurricular, with successful local and national partnerships to build enterprising young professionals.
“We start with think local, to think big!”