HomeNewsEducationKepnock students empowered to be entrepreneurs

Kepnock students empowered to be entrepreneurs

Kepnock students Young Change Agents workshop
Mayor Helen Blackburn with Kepnock State High School students Ella Maike, Ingrid Deighton and Sophie Elder.

Year eight and nine students from Kepnock State High School have taken the first steps to become the next generation of female entrepreneurs through an empowering workshop run by Young Change Agents and the Academy for Enterprising Girls.

Up to 60 students participated in the one-day workshop which aimed to help them develop skills such as design thinking, problem-solving, ideation and preparing a business pitch.

Bundaberg Region Mayor Helen Blackburn attended the workshop and spoke to the participating students about her experiences as a business owner and Mayor.

“You really have to lean to your own strengths and know where your abilities are,” Mayor Blackburn said.

“It's great that we have all these girls coming together and they can share their ideas and get strength from one another.

“It's really good that they know that they have elder women that they can turn to for advice and for direction.”

Kepnock State High School teacher Nicole Amey said the school have been collaborating with Young Change Agents for a number of years to deliver the program.

“What we're trying to do today is empower our young females to develop their enterprise skills, and also for them to realise that their pathway to business is possible,” Nicole said.

“It's looking at a problem in your community, design thinking, processes, and coming up with a potential solution that they might see, either through lived experience or something they're witnessing.”

Kepnock student Willow Stuhmcke
Kepnock State High School year 9 student Willow Stuhmcke in discussion with her team during the workshop.

Year nine student Willow Stuhmcke said she came along to take part in the workshop as she was still trying to figure out what she wanted to do in the future.

“I've done entrepreneurial things with Miss Amey since I was in grade seven, and I'm in grade nine now, and I just thought that would be a great opportunity,” Willow said.

“Maybe it'll give me some ideas for in the future of what I want to do.”

The Academy for Enterprising Girls program, supported by the Australian Government and aligned with the Australian school curriculum, is aimed at inspiring young women aged 10 to 18 in the fields of STEM and business.

According to the Academy’s spokeswoman Fleur Anderson, to date more than 379 school workshops have been delivered by the Academy, and more than 16,500 girls have completed its program online or in person since it began in 2019.

Young Change Agents workshop facilitator Renae Jones said she hoped the workshop would give the students confidence and a feeling that they could make a difference in their community.

“As the day goes on, they build more and more confidence, so by the end of the day, they're so excited to actually get up and pitch their social enterprise about the change that they want to make in the community,” Renae said.

“Because by then they are so passionate about it, they've really concentrated on that one problem all day, they've narrowed it down, they've learned the skill of turning a problem into an opportunity.

“And for us, that's the biggest sense of hope that we can instil in a young person is that whenever they face a problem in their life, if they have the tools to turn that into an opportunity, that is a massive win for us.”

For more information on the Academy for Enterprising Girls and to register for training, go to enterprisinggirls.com.au.




  1. The best way for teachers to teach young girls to be an Entrepreneur is to connect them with other local female Entrepreneur / business owners like Tegan Weekes et al instead of another government bodies who are bound by tax payer money. Being an Entrepreneur means creating an independent income and jobs instead of relying on Government fundings.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here