Middle School Entrepreneurial Minimester

Wilderness Times article on the Minimester by Ann Rooney (see pages 26 -27)


In week 8, the Year 9 cohort of 100 students, took part in a four-day Minimester from Monday to Thursday.

This Minimester was an entrepreneurial learning event in which girls engaged in creative product-oriented learning experiences taking on feedback from Wilderness Community business mentors. Students worked independently and in teams to learn new skills in designing a Business Model, creating multimedia using Adobe Apps and prototyping using the 3D printer. The Minimester culminated in an exhibition where the girls presented their business pitches to the Wilderness Community.

In the exhibition, students created a stand to show their design cycle, their business proposition, logo and promotional multimedia and presented their product pitch to their audience. Their products included apps to locate seats at public events and products such as a sunscreen that changed colour when more application was required.

On Wednesday, Wilderness Community business mentors visited and listening to students’ business pitches and then gave feedback on their business proposals. The mentors guided the girls with advice and by asking questions about customer relationships and revenue streams.

Involvement of the Wilderness Business Community

Upon completion of the Minimester, students responded to a survey on various aspects of the Minimester. Their thoughtful comments reveal how conversations with the business mentors developed lifelong skills.

The most valuable feedback was definitely the possible manufacturers to consider and the best way to advertise our product. The mentors told us about setting the price of our product. If our product were too expensive, people would not buy it and if it were too low, we wouldn’t make a profit.

The mentors gave constructive feedback, but the most valuable one was teaching us about actually making our product, how we can dream big and know that there are no limits with business ideas. This allowed us to expand our product and think of ideas that would have not otherwise existed.

The most valuable feedback our group has received is that we should go deeper on ways to ensure we have continuous income. From this, we developed the idea of requiring payment to unlock extra instrumental sets.

Delivering our pitch to real business owners was great. I loved working with them because their feedback was not only about our business idea but also about how to market our product. 

“The sky’s the limit.” The opportunities are endless and there are no boundaries for your ideas.

The most valuable feedback my group received was the critical feedback. It really helped us extend and improve our idea. We learnt that by adding your story and experiences into your pitch I could connect everything with it and give value to our ideas. 

What I most appreciated was that the mentors were true entrepreneurs and knew a lot about how to run businesses. They had some good experience to help us out! One mentor said “Don’t shy away from something that seems impossible” and they quoted from Peter Pan ‘What if I fall?’ ‘What if you fly?’

Digital Communication

Dr Tim Kitchen, a Senior Education Specialist in Adobe showed the girls how to create digital multimedia using Adobe Applications. Below is an example of what they learnt and how they applied their new skills in their business promotions.

During Minimester, I learned how to use Adobe Illustrator and Spark which I believe are two VERY useful software that I could use in the future for every subject especially in Multimedia and English when looking at different texts.

I could use what I learnt during theAdobe presentations in English for my book trailer. I can now use SparkPost and SparkVideo to make advertisements, posters, and videos. I learnt to look at things from different perspectives during the Minimester and use different applications for different products.

What are the next steps for the students’ business proposals?

Potentially yes, there is a future, but we would need to know the science behind making the sunscreen.

Many of the mentors agreed that there is a future for our business idea. It is practical and useful and they would use it if it was available in the App store. Our next step might be creating an actual App and to this, we would need to contact app developers and test our product’s effectiveness to see if it has a chance in the market.

What have students learnt about being an entrepreneur?

We have learnt how to make a business and how to reach out to people. How to express our ideas and opinions in a way that everyone can understand and how we can market our ideas to a wider community.

Minimester Resources

Avenues: World School

The Paradigm Shifters: Entrepreneurial learning in schools


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  1. The culminating ‘expo’ on the fourth day of the minimester, provided the students with the opportunity to showcase their learning and provide evidence of the knowledge and skills they had developed.

    The extrinsic motivation provided by a genuine audience, external to the immediate school community, created a sense of ownership of their work for the girls. They wanted to put their best self forward. They were prepared to answer questions and explain their entrepreneurial ideas. The teams engaged enthusiastically in conversations with their audience, further developing and refining their ideas with each conversation that was had.
    This is an authentic form of assessment that the girls embraced.

    • Hi Carrie, I agree with you about the importance of a genuine audience and the power of ownership in creating a learning environment that went beyond the traditional classroom. I also noticed that the outcome of showcasing their product pitch to parents and the wider school community really excited the students to achieve more. They chose to push themselves beyond expectations.

  2. Seeing the enthusiasm in the young entrepreneurs was truly inspirational. What a great event the minimester was and credit to everyone who made it possible.

    • Hi Anthony, the minimester showed the power of entrepreneurial learning and the enthusiasm of students when they are given a choice to make decisions.

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