My Future on a Bike
An innovative social enterprise project, based on the potential of the region's 'Bicycle Tourism' sector; it was designed by an Italian school as a means of equipping young people at greatest risk of dropping out with entrepreneurial and employability skills. It focuses on key issues to do with sustainable mobility: local marketing; the tourism business related to cycling; communication/media.
Purpose and process
The mission of this project is simple in its originality in that the bicycle is used as a means of social inclusion and employment. 'Bicycle tourism' is a booming economic sector in the region where the school is based and this is the reason why they are focusing on new and sustainable mobility as a source of job opportunities for those students most at risk of dropping out of school. The aim of the project is to reveal the hidden talents and abilities of these students by helping them set up a cycle workshop in the form of a students' cooperative initiative. Students from the 1st to the 5th class attend the course twice a week (from 3:00 to 5:00pm) over 5 months. It is organized into three stages:
- Stage I (month 1): building up a network of local authorities, stakeholders and private and public organisations; advertising the initiative through brochures, leaflets and workshops.
- Stage II (month 2): furnishing the 'bike workshop'; purchasing the required tools and 8 bicycles; placing bike racks inside and outside the school; equipping the workshop with internet wiring. Membership campaign at school.
- Stage III (months 3-5) Three modules: 1. Basic training and team working (bike mechanics and bike service, e.g. bike types and bike anthropometry, bike structure, bike nomenclature, bike workshop furnishing and tools stock-taking) 2. Sustainable mobility (e.g. history of the bicycle; jobs related to bike usage; environment; mobility; sustainability; accessibility; road rules, signs and safety) 3. Marketing – Entrepreneurial skills – Membership.
At the end of the course the students receive a certificate that will allow them to take part in further national educational projects to gain future professional qualifications such as that for 'cycle guides'.
Through learning by doing and on-the-job-training, students can:
- Build self-esteem through teamwork, engagement with customers and 'real' feedback
- Become entrepreneurs themselves through working together to achieve success
- Practise problem-solving and decision-making skills linked to case history and role playing experiences
- Acquire the necessary competences for entering the world of work
Curricular or thematic relevance
Helping students to acquire, through their participation in both the theoretical and practical elements of this programme, the EU's 8 basic competences is the ultimate goal of 'My Future on a Bike'.
How to organise:
This is run as an extra-curricular project over 5 months.
Assessment and evaluation approaches
The success of the students' cooperative is gauged by the amount of sales they can achieve in terms of 'cycle workshop' services and cycle tour packages.
During the first month of the project, partnership is developed with a range of dedicated associations which will ultimately enable the students to work out a sustainable financial plan and develop their entrepreneurial skills in a real context. Members of the local community may also be involved thruogh purchase of the cooperative's services.
The most innovative and experimental aspect of this project is the way in which it transfers knowledge to the students regarding how to start a social enterprise.
helper do TM detail body (June 6th, 1st half)
I really like that it's about bikes, as they are affordable, usually everybody has one, unlike computer games or trendy smart phones.It provides the students with lots of hands on, practical experience that they can use in their everyday life , plus it's a great opportunity for the youth to have something in common other than spending your time in the mall or doing something completely useless.
I like this idea, since it combines entrepreneurial thinking with practicalreal life skills. its not generic and ypoucant do this everywhere, but be inspired and think how school can act differently, and think ntrepreneurial about school itself