By starting a real business in the classroom the Junior Entrepreneur Programme (JEP) has managed to engage students in horticulture. Going forward, this could be an excellent way for the wider sector to sponsor and encourage more young people into our industry. Taking this message on board already, as part of the company’s engagement with communities under their CSR programme, was the SAP GROUP who sponsored the ‘Bee Booster Boxes’ project to the tune of €750. Paul Giles of SAP tells HC, “We were delighted to be involved with this project as it’s really important for businesses like ours to influence and educate children at an early age about the benefits of a career in our sector. Also the environmental message adopted and delivered by the children is really important, and as we too strive to develop more sustainable practises in our sector.”
Under the direction of Canalway Educate Together teacher Ciaran Mulhearn, and with the inspiration of local entrepreneurs, the children of 5th and 6th class discovered their strengths as individuals and as part of a team. Together, they chose, invested in and produced their own product from scratch which in this case was the ‘Bee Booster Box’. It is a ready-made, environmentally friendly plant box made from FSC wood and filled with reduced peat compost and bee-friendly pollinator flowers to encourage bees. It was made available for sale at a school-hosted JEP Showcase Day and the children enjoyed donating their profits of €1300 at the end for their chosen charities (Focus Ireland, DSPCA and Friends of the Earth).
Ciaran Mulhearn told HC, “The children had a great learning experience and really enjoyed the project from start to finish. It is refreshing to see such passion for the environment and creative ideas from children so young. Thank you to everyone for supporting this great cause and for making such generous donations, especially SAP GROUP for the generous donation which allowed us to start our project.” More at www.beeboosterbox.com and www.juniorentrepreneur.ie ✽