The winners of the 2016 Global Enterprise Challenge, an annual worldwide business enterprise initiative run by Broadclyst Community Primary School (BCPS) in Devon, were flown from Lebanon to visit the school at the end of January. They spent two days at Broadclyst, visiting classes and meeting some of the 2017 competitors before going to BETT, the annual education technology event in London.
The Lebanese team won the contest with their business making and selling recycled products, which they started in response to the political challenges in Beirut, where rubbish is no longer collected. The five girls said: “We wanted to be the change.” Their school, the Makassed Khalil Shehab Primary School, ran an event, called Hearts and Hands, to which over 350 came to buy the products. All their profits were donated to the Makassed Hospital Cancer Fund Unit.
Some of BCPS’s year 5 children are entering this year’s Challenge with their own recycled products company, and found the advice of their Lebanese peers during the visit very interesting and useful, not just for their Challenge work, but also to understand more about a different country and culture.
Michael said: “The Lebanese team were incredibly kind and generous,” and Isla added: “It was very interesting to hear about their country and how different their school is to ours.”
Lucy found the tips the girls offered very useful: “They encouraged us to work globally and not just to think about our school,” she said. Keira explained: “They talked to us about teamwork and the importance of hearing others’ ideas. This was one of the reasons why they succeeded.”
Holli commented: “I really liked interviewing them in the studio – their English was amazing!” Alfie agreed: “We are very grateful for the answers that they gave us when we interviewed them. They even gave us some tips on how best to make our products.”
The Lebanese team’s teacher, Rana Sabbidine, accompanied the children, and was delighted with the additional opportunity they had to meet Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Worldwide Education at Microsoft when they visited BETT. She said: “Because we think and dream big, and GEC is that big, we decided to participate whereby our students could develop distinctive features of leadership, communication and collaboration. The journey that our students have embarked on has definitely left an outstanding impact on the evolution of their personality and has given them a global perspective on business development. Visiting the UK was an exciting experience for them where they met new peers, enjoyed navigating in the new country and understood a new culture. Meeting with Mr Salcito was uplifting and it resonated in our pupils’ inspiration, while the BETT show was an unforgettable learning experience for them.”