published in Community EducationFundraisingGifts of GraceWhat's My BusinessYour Love At Work on March 11, 2021

What’s My Business?

A student-led unit of inqiury in partnership with ALWS

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As part of What's My Business, students form groups to create businesses, sell products at a Market-Place - like these students at Good News Lutheran College in Tarneit - and then use the profits to buy Gifts of Grace to help people in need!

What is What’s My Business?

  • An authentic and powerful learning experience
  • A unit of inquiry that brings together HASS, Christian Studies and Maths
  • An answer to the question “What can I do?” to help students see they can make a difference
  • A chance to partner with ALWS and help people in need!

How does it work?

  • Students learn about Savings Groups which operate in communities around the world. These groups help kickstart small businesses.
  • Students then have the opportunity to become members of a school-based Savings Group in their class, and work to develop small business ideas.
  • Students apply for a $20 loan from the Savings Group to fund their business.
  • The unit culminates in a school-based ‘market day’, where student-developed businesses sell their product to the local school community.
  • Students use the income to repay their loan (with interest) to the Savings Group.
  • Students use profits to choose ALWS Gifts of Grace to help communities in need!

Let’s make this happen!

  • Get in touch with us to set up an introductory session, via zoom, for interested school staff.
  • If your school chooses to go ahead, the unit begins with an introductory presentation to students by your ALWS Engagement Officer, Celia or Martin (about 90 mins).
  • Teachers are then supported by Celia or Martin to teach the unit across a number of weeks.
  • There will be access to mentors who have run this unit successfully in their schools.

To find out more:

  • Contact your ALWS Community Action Officer!
  • For SA, WA, NT, NSW & Tas schools: Celia Fielke, 0408 677 998
  • For Vic & Qld schools: Martin Scharnke 0437 007 927

Download What’s My Business flyer 


Micro-loans to Market-place!

Hair braiding. Busking. Cupcakes. Bookmarks. Lemonade. Painted Rocks.

These are just some of the products created and sold by the Grade 5s at Good News Lutheran College in Tarneit as part of the ALWS What’s my business? program.

Starting with just a $20 loan, students form groups to create businesses, sell products at a Market-Place, repay their $20 loan, and then use the profits to buy Gifts of Grace to help people in need.

Smiling Lemons, a business selling lemonade and lemon slice, decided they would like to use their profits to buy a chicken. They said:

“This will help someone thrive because this chicken can provide food from its eggs, grow baby chicks from its eggs, meat for a family and the ability to sell extra eggs.

“The money the family makes could be used for education, health such as medicine and doctor visits, clothes, beds, food and more. The chicken manure can be used to help plants grow.”

What’s my business? was developed jointly by ALWS and Lutheran schools in Victoria as a way of teaching students about finance and business and managing money… and at the same time how God’s gift of money can be used to bless others who may be poor.

Teagan Purser, Grade 5 teacher at Good News, said What’s my Business? is a key part of her Grade 5s’ Unit of Inquiry ‘Human activity impacts change through action and service’:

“Students began this learning journey through developing empathy.

“Firstly, they took part in a Refu.Me Challenge which gave them a taste of what it was like to be a refugee. There were a lot of moans and groans throughout the day which was an integral part to start our journey.

“The Year 5s then participated in an ALWS Awareness Day which enabled them to hear refugee stories and connect with their previous experiences from the challenge. Students immediately wanted to take action and learn about the work of ALWS and what they could do to help.

“One notion students explored was surviving vs thriving which helped us establish a context for our service learning. One of the big questions was, ‘How can we move a family from just surviving to thriving where their life is purposeful and sustainable?’”

Students went through a thorough process to build their businesses:

  • identify needs and wants in the community
  • develop a product or service to meet those needs
  • create a Vision Statement to reflect their business’ values
  • collect data from the community
  • establish a cost for their product and plan profits
  • pitch the business idea to the Finance team at Good News
  • if successful, they received a $20 loan to kick-start the business
  • market-test their product and refine design
  • sell products at a Good News Market Night
  • repay the $20 loan
  • use profits to buy Gifts of Grace to help others.

Sienna from Shake It Up said:

“We had fun and the money we made will help other people’s lives and bring change.”

Meanwhile, Isabelle from Amazing Accessories stated:

“We went from just getting by with $20 to being successful with the profits we made which will help the people just surviving and turn their life so they are thriving.”

Hair braids, bookmarks, painted rocks … Gifts of Grace … how wonderful to see our church in schools and ALWS and LLL work together to bring love to life!

If you’re a teacher and would like to know how your class can join in What’s My Business, simply get in touch! 

The What’s my business? program in Lutheran schools is supported by a generous grant from the LLL. The LLL tag-line ‘finance with a mission’ comes to life in a very practical way as students build their businesses to create finance for their mission to help others.

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