Year 10 Business have been answering the question: Should businesses exist primarily to make a profit, or do they have an equal obligation for the wellbeing of people and planet? The question originates from The B Team, a global group formed by business leaders to catalyse a better way of doing business. They maintain that Plan A - where business is primarily motivated by profit - is no longer an option. Supporting this statement is the global rise of the Social Enterprise.

Year 10 students had an e-classroom from The Big Issue. Discussion centred around marginalised people in our society and how organisations such as The Big Issue offer the opportunity to break out of, in this case the cycle of homelessness and turn their spiralling life around. The cost of homelessness to the government was another important point examined. Social Enterprises, work on a business model, competing with privately owned businesses for the consumer dollar. The session ended with a talk from a vendor. The session is powerful in opening students’ eyes to the differences businesses can make in the community.

In response to the question posed above, students had to research organisations of their choice and produce an argumentative essay on their viewpoint. Some took the Social Enterprise approach while others focused on private and public businesses. While the majority agreed that while businesses do have an obligation to people and planet and this would reflect positively on the bottom line, some obvious anomalies were found; Amazon being a key one.

Year 11 Business have investigated NSW start-up Vow Foods in the emerging cultured meat market. We were lucky enough to have a video Q&A with founder and CEO George Peppou. Students were able to pose questions to George about the business and use this primary data along with their own research to investigate the business that has the goal of “outperforming meat”.

Year 12 have been focused on the ailing department store sector this semester; first looking at how MYER can compete against online marketplaces as well as get foot traffic back into stores. This term students have looked at the repositioning of Kmart as Wesfarmers attempts to maintain and grow its current majority share of the department store sector. A big part of this is looking at emerging technologies in marketing and operations that make shopping in store or online a seamless experience.

Year 9 are just about to take over cafés as they embark on the ABW Café Simulation. This term students will get familiarised with the program before the competitive phase begins next term. We have 24 cafés competing this year. Students in café groups will run their business for three virtual years. During this time, they can expand their chain up to five cafés. Students make decisions each “quarter” on how much they are going to sell, prices charged, and ambiance of their business following analysis of the previous quarter’s results.

Georgina Barfoot
Teacher (Business)

Spark something wonderful