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Social Entrepreneurship​ 

One Small Loan Makes a BIG Difference...

Class Blog

Take a peek into our 6th grade Social Entrepreneurship class offered through our SCH Academy Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.

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2nd Trimester: CEL Social Entrepreneurship Team -- WEEK 1

Posted on January 8, 2016 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (26)

We read ONE HEN by Katie Smith Milway - based on a true story of a West African boy who receives a small loan to purchase a hen, flourishes as an entrepreneur and then creates opportunties for others. One Hen was a great way to kick off our exploration of microfinance and community loans! Enjoy the One Hen story here: And visit to learn more...


Students collaborated with their partners to learn about, and microfinancing. They presented to their classmates, teaching each other on a variety of topics including: What is a loan? What is an entrepreneur? What is microfinancing? 

WEEK 12 - Final Week: Review KIVA Lending Profile and REFLECTIONS

Posted on December 4, 2015 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (20)

So, all were excited to hear we earned almost $400 and received several KIVA Gift Cards.  We were able to LOAN over $400 to seven borrowers in seven countries! In addition, we voted to make a donation to one of our MS student's favorite organization "Happy Hearts" which builds schools in under-developed countries. @KIVA thanks us for our efforts!

In our end-of-course REFLECTIONS, many of the students expressed interest in continuing to meet once a month over lunch to track their Kiva loan paybacks, stay in tune with borrowers and participate in the re-lending process.  I so appreciate their PASSION!

Some of my favorite quotes from the student reflections:

LILLY says: "Kiva can really make a changes peoples lives..."

NORA writes: "I learned that something very small can make a huge difference."

SOFIA says: "The difference between Kiva and other donation groups is that in Kiva, the loan helps the peron grow their business..."

KALIYANI: "Kiva is a great site and a great way to be a humanitarian!"

SIENNA writes: "Kiva can make a really big difference because some people really need the loans for their homes, education, kids and businesses."

WEEK 11 - Finalize Orders/Deep Dive into KIVA

Posted on December 2, 2015 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Since we only have one more week for this course, we were frantically filling orders and counting up sales so we could move on to next steps. A few businesses were more labor intensive than others - which presented challenges to the students in getting Photo Frenzy orders printed, handwoven bracelets completed and personalized cups delivered! The students were so excited and proud to discover their Market Fair earnings yielded almost $400 -- which leads us to getting back to the http/ website and deciding how to allocate their profits.

We re-visited our global research where we examined economic data and lifestyles across five continents.  The students considered their findings and chose three countries from each region in which they wanted to find potential Kiva borrowers. Delving deep into the website - they worked to identify borrowers and businesses they wanted to LOAN to from their preferred countries.  Engaging in intense exploration of individual borrower profiles, the students were excited to finally be able to vote for who they wanted to allocate loans to and in what $$ amounts. Our Team KIVA Lending profile below reflects their choices:

WEEK 10 - Business Week: Orders/Counting Sales

Posted on November 24, 2015 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Our KIVA-inspired Market Fair was a success.  Selling their wares - handcrafted bracelets, personalized cups, decorated t-shirts, wind chimes and fun photobooth frames - outside the school cafeteria over multiple lunch periods...the girls kept busy taking and filling orders, providing details of their projects and sharing the magic of microfinance and Kiva!

Excited and well-informed, these 5th graders embraced their ability to earn money and engage in social entrepreneurship in simple, yet powerful ways. One student from the Photo Frenzy business table ran across the hall to say she had very important news that her business partners wanted her to come share with me right away! What was the news? "Mrs. d., we counted up our photo orders and we earned over $100 for Kiva already!" 

WEEK 9 - Market Fair & more Alumni Support!

Posted on November 17, 2015 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

The students did an amazing amount of work and took the initiative on SO many aspects of the preparation for their Market Fair - to raise funds to loan through KIVA: from creating order forms for their products to making marketing posters and flyers to creating displays for the items they're selling!  They problem-solved 'how to pay' issues, developed a market schedule and crafted/sent emails to students and staff about their CEL SOcial Entrepreneurship Market and goals for Kiva. 

GOOD News today: we heard that another local Alumni group - SPRINGSIDE '06 - is supporting our efforts by donating a KIVA Gift Card to our "SCH 5th Grade CEL KIVA Lending Team" !  Thank you!

The Market Fair has been well attended so far!  We'll keep you posted!

Week 8 - Global Research, Alumni Support & Loan News

Posted on November 7, 2015 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)

In preparation for how to allocate our earnings through, we researched various economic and social criteria on several countries across five continents to determine: WHICH COUNTRIES SHOULD WE LOAN TO?   With microfinance and Kiva, we can make a difference to people who are living in poverty by helping them start businesses, improve their homes or send their children to school.  In order to be responsible lenders, we needed to know some things about the current conditions in the countries we may be interested in loaning to...

WE also heard from a local CHA Alumni group - Chestnut Hill Academy '12 - is supporting our efforts to earn money for KIVA by making small loans to a few of the student businesses.  Thank you!

The micro-business groups found out today how they made out in their business plan presentations and loan requests:


Week 7 - Modeling Microfinance in our SCH Community

Posted on November 1, 2015 at 8:20 PM Comments comments (0)

This was "pitch week" - when the groups presented their business ideas in our school's Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership - sharing their business plans.  See this site's "Want to Lend?" page for their presentations.  Our Social Entreprenuership students presented to several groups: a group of 8th grade CEL Digital Publishing students and a group of teachers and students: Service Committee members, Finance Club presidents PLUS members of our upper school S.A.G.E. Club (Students Advocating for Gender Equity).  Each group listened to the business presentations, asked questions and then completed the following rubric - to determine which businesses to lend money to...

The presentations went well - the students managed to answer lots of questions from the audience and were great spokespeople for their proposed businesses and wonderful advocates for!  

Week 6 - Exploring Kiva, Practicing Business Pitches & Designing Logos

Posted on October 23, 2015 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

What part(s) of the world do we want to loan in?  Do we want to consider individual or group borrowers? Are we going to focus on one kind of Kiva business to loan to or be flexible: farming, education, clothing business, etc?  Do we want to loan to someone who has just started the loan process or choose a borrower that has almost reached their goal?  These are just some of the questions we posed as we worked with a partner and delved further into

We finalized our own business pitches - check them out - and are practicing for our presentations to several student groups over the next few weeks,  Check out our "Want to Lend?" page if you want to see more and/or if you want to know how you can help!

Our "Cups for U" business partners have been working extra hard - meeting over several lunch periods with our design teacher Mr.Cool, puting the finishing touches on their cup eco-logo and startting to learn how to personalize it in Photoshop!  Kudos for their extra efforts!

Week 5 - Finalizing Business Plans and Product Samples

Posted on October 12, 2015 at 9:25 PM Comments comments (0)

The 5th grade Microfinance teams continued to refine their products - and explore the marketing aspect of their plans.  We also considered the logistical parts of their proposals and started work on order forms. Regularly re-visiting, keeps us focused on our goals and mission!

Week 4 - Exploring KIVA and Crafting Business Presentations with Google Slides

Posted on October 2, 2015 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Our 5th grade social entrepreneurs continued work in Google Docs on their Business descriptions.  We explored a bit more to remind us of why we were learning and modeling microfinance - and how we are going to practice microfinance and participate in

One group has been working on a business plan to sell plastic beverage tumblers with lids and inserts that can be personalized.  They chose to offer this product to our school community as an eco-friendly alternative to using disposable cups or purchasing water bottles in our cafeteria.  In January, our school cafteria will stop selling bottled water, so the students saw this project as a way to support the school's eco-efforts. One our New Media staffers visited our class and met with this group to help them design a logo for the personalized cups that reflects their eco-friendly school community.  Can't wait to see the new logo/template they design!

Our students also worked on some marketing videos to share with potential micro-investors:  describing their business venture, why they were trying to raise money and what does.  These videos were taped on our school's Blue & Gold Day, so they're dessed up in their school spirit outfits!

Week 3 - Business Feasibility Plans

Posted on September 25, 2015 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)

We reviewed our Business Feasibility work from last week and adressed some questions about the 5th graders' proposed businesses:  


  • What materials will you need?  
  • Can you order/receive these materials on a timely basis?  
  • If you're creating or customizing your product, can you produce them in a timely manner in response to sales?  
  • What makes your product special?
  • Who is your audience? 
  • How will you arrange the sale?  Will you take orders?
After we discussed, our 5th graders refined their Business Plans accordingly - although a few groups decided not to address a few of the challenges and take a risk anyway!

Students used Google Docs to craft/refine their Business Plan summaries and to begin developing a descriptive paragraph/pitch to potential investors/consumers. 

Week 2 - THINK...Wonder...Explore...

Posted on September 18, 2015 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

We started this week reflecting on all we had learned about social entrepreneurship, microfinance and Kiva with a "THINK-WONDER-EXPLORE" activity.  We 'wondered' about how Kiva finds it's borrowers from around the world and 'wondered' whether we could loan more than $25 for each Kiva loan.  We want to 'explore' the Kiva website and 'explore' ways we could model microfinance in our school.

We brainstormed business ideas - ways we could raise funds to loan through Kiva AND to model microfinance for our school.  The girls brainstormed lots of business ideas from running a Photo Booth station to personalized, reusable water cups in support of our GREEN school initiatives to selling parachute cord bracelets.  We started to explore the feasibility of some of these ideas by drafting our first Business Plan drafts. Stay tuned!

Week 1 - Exploring Microfinance with "One Hen" and

Posted on September 12, 2015 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (0)

We read ONE HEN by Katie Smith Milway - based on a true story of a West African boy who receives a small loan to purchase a hen, flourishes as an entrepreneur and then creates opportunties for others.  One Hen was a great way to kick off our exploration of microfinance and community loans!  Enjoy the One Hen story here:  And visit to learn more...

Students collaborated with their partners to learn about, and microfinancing. They presented to their classmates, teaching each other on a variety of topics including: What is a loan? What is an entrepreneur? What is microfinancing?