On Friday 11 November our Lower Sixth students travelled to the London School of Economics (LSE) in Holborn to take part in the opening full-day session of the Mentorpreneurship Programme – powered by LSE Generate and OakNorth, – to help our students develop entrepreneurial mindsets and create ideas that will solve a problem and have a positive impact on society.
The students were welcomed by LSE Generate’s Global Engagement Lead, Alice Eddie, who talked about the aims of the day before introducing Erica Nakanishu-Stamis. Erica ran a fantastic morning session that focused on the qualities that are needed for an entrepreneurial mindset – communication, problem-solving, resilience, flexibility, creativity – and explained how these would be essential in our students’ future careers, even though the majority did not see themselves as budding entrepreneurs. The Lower Sixth were introduced to the concept of systems thinking and the process of finding opportunities and ideas to solve problems and then they were set a challenge and task to put these learnings into practice before pitching their ideas to LSE Generate Founders. A panel event with the Founders, who introduced themselves and talked the students through their entrepreneurial journey, wrapped up the morning.
With the LSE situated in central London with the River Thames, Covent Garden, Theatreland, and the Royal Courts of Justice on the doorstep, lunch was a chance to explore the sights and the local coffee bars.
In the afternoon the Lower Sixth worked with their founders to develop ideas and to further explore the challenges and pitfalls of being a social entrepreneur, with particular reference to the UN Sustainability Development Goals for 2030. This was a fantastic launch event for the Mentorpreneurship programme which will continue through to March 2023 and will also be supported at school through weekly workshops. There will be a dedicated online platform and an app, packed full of additional relevant materials, through which the teams can have ongoing communication and support from their founder mentors and with each other; download and upload relevant templates; complete mini-self learning courses; and attend online tutorials. The programme will culminate in teams pitching their idea in the Grand Finale to a panel of eminent experts who are involved in organisations with a societal focus. Commitment to this In-house Internship will allow students to explore the valuable skills connected to life beyond the purely academic.