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Peek inside Heathfield High's First Workshop

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Enterprising Girls Team
Academy For Enterprising Girls

Too much waste at community events, lack of opportunities for people with disabilities, polluted creeks, and under-preparedness to fight natural disasters are just some of the big issues that students in the first Academy for Enterprising Girls workshop are trying to solve by thinking like entrepreneurs.

Over two and a half days, more than 45 girls at Heathfield High School in the Adelaide Hills are applying design thinking and business models to problem-solve the issues they care about in their community.

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It’s the first of more than 100 Academy for Enterprising Girls workshops being rolled out across Australian schools this year.

Day one saw a packed agenda and plenty of enthusiasm. Led by facilitators from Young Change Agents, the girls worked in groups to do vision mapping, root cause analysis, ideation and social enterprise games.

They also had to form their own political parties and pitch for their fellow students’ vote!

Year 8 student Emma is enrolled in Heathfield High’s new entrepreneurial stream and said just from day one of the Academy for Enterprising Girls workshop she’s already learnt a new way of thinking.

At school we’d just jump straight into finding a solution instead of working out what the causes actually are,” Emma said.

I’m looking forward to working with my group to find a solution and hopefully be able to turn it into a proper business.

They’ll get to pitch those business ideas before a group of judges on day three of the workshop.

The Academy for Enterprising Girls is an initiative of the Council of Small Business Organisation Australia (COSBOA) and funded under the Australian Government's $3.6 million Future Female Entrepreneurs Program.

It provides Aussie girls aged 10 to 18 with design thinking and enterprising skills needed for jobs of the future and careers not yet invented.

Three quarters of the fastest growing occupations and higher paying jobs are in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths, yet women account for just 17% of the STEM-related workforce.

Heathfield High School is one of five Entrepreneurial schools in South Australia and boasts a world standard STEM Centre for learning, innovation and excellence, as well as an Advanced Technologies Robotics and Control Technologies Centre featuring robotics equipment, CNC mills and 3D printers.

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