The Future Leaders Program, presented by BLOOM, aims to develop leadership and entrepreneurship skills in high school students. In 2022, Perth Modern School students aged 15 and 16 years participated in six weeks of interactive workshops and then laid out their own business ideas. This program inspired students to compete in a Youth Innovation Think Tank and several students went on to present fledgling business concepts at the West Tech Youth Entrepreneurship Showcase in Dec 2022. Due to this success, the program is continuing in 2023.
Perth Modern School
Leadership and Entrepreneurial Program
Perth Modern School is a selective WA secondary school of around 1,500 students situated in Subiaco. This school caters for an academically gifted student population. The provision of a special extracurricular opportunity to develop leadership and entrepreneurship skills has enabled some of these bright and creative minds to see how to put their imagination to work in a business context. The six-week Future Leaders Program in 2022 was funded by a grant from the Malka Foundation and made via the Sphinx Scholarship Fund which is the philanthropy arm of the Sphinx Foundation Inc.
It was presented by dynamic young facilitators from BLOOM, associated with St Catherines’ College. 25 Perth Modern School students engaged in interactive workshops that included discussion, individual and group challenges, and presentations from speakers with real-life experience. Workshop topics included effective communication, teamwork, design thinking, business ideas and targeting customers. The program culminated in a ‘Shark Tank’ forum where students presented their business ideas to a panel of experts.
The two best ideas from this Shark Tank were presented at the West Tech Youth Entrepreneurship Showcase in December 2022. These two students are keen to pursue their two business ideas of ‘Rural Minds’: supporting educational aspirations in regional students by creating a speaker list of successful rural university graduates, and marketing ‘Baobab’: a study and summarising app, respectively.
Students from this program also participated in the 2022 East Metropolitan Health Service Youth Innovation Think Tank achieving second place for their proposal for reducing environmental footprint of hospitals in medication. Students overwhelmingly gave positive feedback about being given this opportunity and said that the program helped them develop skills in leadership, confidence in business ideas, and improved their confidence.
The generous support provided by the Malka Foundation allowed us to run an exciting entrepreneurship and leadership program with the students at Perth Modern School. The program supported students in developing essential entrepreneurial and innovation skills and linked them with industry mentors. Support for these programs helps build the next generation of entrepreneurs and contribute to the thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in WA.
Courtney Press, Perth Modern School Coordinator