From the journal

Surbiton High School with 7billionideas becomes the first school in the world to…

With over 15% of the UK working population self-employed, otherwise defined as ‘entrepreneurs’, every school in the country has a responsibility to unlock the entrepreneurial spirit inside every student. No school understands this more than Surbiton High School in South-West London.

As you walk through the corridors of the schools, see the colourful classrooms and talk with the creative students, it’s evident that this school is up to something extremely special, helping to create the next generation of entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs. Every student, from the prep to the senior school have had this entrepreneurial DNA unlocked as soon as they’ve walked into Surbiton High School. Every student voluntarily takes part in enterprise activities learning to make their ideas a reality, or social enterprise activities where they look to raise as much money as they can for charity.

Students can take part in exciting courses or competitions such as the #7billCLUB in Year 5 – where they generate ideas weekly on different topics. #make2017 in Year 8 – where they make as much money as a form as they can for charity in a year. #UnitedApp in Year 9 –  where they generate educational app ideas. #UnleashingPotential in Year 10 – where they learn about crowdfunding or even Young Enterprise in Year 12, where they have the opportunity to create their own business. These are just to name a few!

However, in 2013 Surbiton High School wanted to go a step further and become the first school in the world (we believe after our intense research!!!) to have an ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’, where they would spend time in their working week to help lead enterprise activities and take enterprise to a new level at Surbiton High and this is where 7billionideas came in!

After being introduced to the school in 2012, 7billionideas started off by supporting Surbiton High School’s impressive activity week by working with their Year 9s. From there the relationship grew into running the #7billCLUB, to mentoring the Young Enterprise team, to advising on their enterprise strategy. In 2013, head teacher Ann Haydon wanted the partnership to grow even further and when she approached David Harkin and Jenny Pool, 7billionideas founders, the answer was a simple – ‘Yes we would love to!’

Ann Haydon, Principal at Surbiton High School said:

“Working with 7billionideas has been hugely beneficial for our students. The program offers them an invaluable opportunity, outside of the classroom, to begin to understand concepts such as marketing, fundraising, and of course enterprise. They are encouraged to put their minds and their ideas to good use for the benefit of others; to reflect on the many advantages available to them. Enterprise is a wonderful outlet for them to be imaginative, bold and fearless. They work well as teams, with the confidence to bring their individual strengths to their groups. Their eyes are opened to what can be achieved with hard work and ingenuity, and the opportunity to understand that these skills have just as much value as their academic results. David and Jenny have unbounded enthusiasm and passion for the value of enterprise in schools and their commitment to the success of 7billionideas is infectious.”

David Harkin, 7billionideas CEO said:

“It’s a real privilege being the Entrepreneurs in Residence at Surbiton High School and to dedicating part of our week to helping create the next generation of entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs. Surbiton High school is a thought leader in this space and it’s so refreshing for the enterprise message to be heard loud and clear at SHS. We challenge the girls and boys of the Surbiton High School community to reach for their dreams and think big about their ideas and I’ve got every confidence in a generations time, this school will be proudly responsible for nurturing entrepreneurs who have gone and created game-changing business and social entrepreneurs who have raised millions of pounds for charity. Jenny and I look forward to helping SHS become the leading school in the world for enterprise in the coming years.”

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