Students break into business

ELIZABETH College and Rokeby High School students have joined forces to break into the world of business with the recent launch of their social enterprise, Tasmanian Humble Products.

Born from a partnership between Rokeby High School, Elizabeth College and the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, the pilot program was aimed at building entrepreneurial skills in young Tasmanians.

It involved a six-week course where students came together each week – outside of school hours – to develop a marketing plan under the supervision of lecturers from the Business School.

Fully designed, marketed and run by the students, the small business now produces handmade wine and spirit caskets from native Tasmanian timbers.

Tasmanian School of Business and Economics community engagement officer Dr Kate Burton said the program offered students unique exposure to business thinking, planning and marketing.

“It was quite a comprehensive study and included learning and thinking about budgeting, swot analysis, looking at competitors, future growth, production and resources,” she said.

“The students were deeply involved in all aspects of planning the business launch and the University of Tasmania intends to keep offering its support.

“We are looking forward to seeing what happens with the business in the future and where else it will take them.”

Echelon marketing advisor Tara Howell, who was involved in running the program, said the students were all “extremely innovative.”

“They were all very enthusiastic and motivated and having 15 students all thinking with a business mindset was pretty exciting to see,” she said.

“I think the future of Tasmanian Humble Products looks very bright – the students already have a number of short-term goals, as well a larger vision to expand their product range and continue a sustainable business.”

Elizabeth College principal Dianne Purnell said the school was excited to be involved in a ground-breaking education program that relooks at how students learn and engage with real life projects.

“When we were invited to be a part of the project we could see the value for our students to apply what they had learned in the classroom to the real world of business,” she said.

“The benefits for our students to work alongside high school students, to mentor them and at the same time be guided and mentored by the staff, is immeasurable.

“We are now part of a sustainable educational model and we look forward to seeing where the Rokeby project goes in the future.”

Elizabeth College student David Lee said he “really enjoyed” the Tasmanian Humble Products experience.

“I got to work with great students, whose ideas and creativity were limitless,” he said.

“I loved working on this project because it allowed us to experience the work of entrepreneurship, which I feel is the future.

“Being exposed to this at a young age is an experience we will treasure forever.”

For more information about Tasmanian Humble Products or to purchase a wine casket, visit www.tasmanianhumbleproducts.com.au or call 6247 7800.

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