VCAL students get creative with social enterprise projects


​GOTAFE’s VCAL students have embraced the challenge of creating a social enterprise projects as part of their VCAL studies.

GOTAFE Trainers Mitch Seaton and Jane Leonard said the students have really invested in the projects, with projects ranging from Indigenous Socks ‘Dot 2 Dot’ and Beanies ‘Knitt Witts’.

“The aim of the social enterprise project is to create a business or enterprise that generate funds, with 51% of the profits going towards a social cause,” said Mitch.

“The students get to choose the project, something they are passionate about, something they can really focus their energy on and hopefully generate some funds for a cause they believe in.

“One of our students Jordan Wilson, from the Wiradjuri Tribe has really revelled in the challenge, designing socks with an indigenous theme that features the Goanna, his totem animal.

“Jordan’s socks have already arrived and he is selling them for $12  pair with 51% profits going towards Rumbalara’s Aboriginal Homelessness Sleepout program.

“Other projects include Classy Moustache – a moustache darkening tool, Knitt Witts – beanies Graces Semicolon Enterprise, Stevie’s Gumball Machine, Darcys Dog Coats, Tail Wagging Dog Tags – personalised dog tags, Teniece’s Cook Book, Jarvis’s Jerry Cans and Bryne’s Candles.

“The social enterprise project model is hands-on and allows for students to create something that might aid them in the future.

“Through the project the students learn business skills including how to create business and marketing plans, budgeting skills, bookkeeping and design and creating as well.

“The project also challenges the students to think of the bigger picture and that is that young people today face a different world of work, with less opportunities for ongoing lifelong paid employment, less need for more traditional employability skills, and more need for developing flexible entrepreneurial skills more suited to changing technologies, economies and communities.

“The students also build on their essential skills around numeracy, literacy, personal development and work related skills.”

The concept of Social Enterprise was introduced by Tash McCormick, Commercial Manager for Learning Skills & Koorie Unit. The project is in partnership with Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurs (ACRE) who take the students through the process of social enterprise, from ideas to reality.