For the third year in a row, business students at Wagga Christian College have won awards in the NAB Foundation of Young Australians challenge.
Year 11 students Ella Bergmeier, 16, Paige Burkinshaw, 17, and Leah Hector, 17, won the Senior Rookie Enterprise of the Year for their business Bliss Bathbombs and Candles, which started with just $20.
“It’s been rewarding because we have put a lot of hard work into the business,” Leah said.
A large sum of the business’ profits, $350, were donated to disadvantaged girls in Uganda to start their own enterprise.
“We were looking for a charity that wasn’t specifically well-known and was focused on girls well-being,” Ella said.
“This organisation ‘OneGirl’ in Uganda helps girls start a business and earn money to provide for their family.”
The students are unsure whether they will continue with their business because of school commitments, but will be happy to produce products for orders.
The school’s business teacher Stephen Gilmour said he “feels blessed” to work with students who are willing to give to those less fortunate.
“In a world that is driven by money and profit, to have these girls without any input really or encouragement want to give a significant portion of their profits to people who are struggling and need help is a true blessing,” Mr Gilmour said.
“I was blessed to see their generous hearts to want to give and they did work really hard and rightly could have kept the money.”
The students are unsure whether they will continue with their business because of school commitments, but will be happy to make their products to orders.
Mr Gilmour said the secret ingredient to his business class winning awards three years in a row is because of their enthusiasm.
“The first year the students were so passionate about creating a business and it hasn’t changed since,” Mr Gilmour said.
“These girls work so hard and the secret ingredient really is their willingness to have-a-go and work hard.
“We’re in the middle of Year 11 and all the assessments are at this time of year, and this business pretty much took up their whole lives and they got rewarded for their efforts.”
As a business teacher, Mr Gilmour said this challenge is something he has “always wanted” to implement in the classroom.
“For years as a business teacher I have always wanted to give my kids real money, to make real decisions so they can make a real business,” he said.
“This is an amazing opportunity and for the last three years to see students run with it and take it on and actually learn what it’s like to run a business.
“A lot of my students have continued with their businesses they created and are making thousands of dollars a month, which is amazing.”