Imagina una Empresa Diferente Project 2017

“Innovation must be in the classrooms”

Talking with Pepa Ortiz, teacher at IES San Juan Bosco in Lorca (Murcia)

cartel Imagina 2017 Horizontal

Welcome to the first CEEIM blog post. Here you can find different news, interviews and opinion articles of experts in technological-based companies and entrepreneurial world in general . We encourage you to visit our blog and share your ideas with us. In this first post, we will talk about Imagina una empresa diferente Project, a special contest that promotes the entrepreneurship at an early age. This is the 9th edition and only few days ago the inscriptions and projects presentations were closed.

‘Imagina una empresa diferente’ has as its purpose to:

–  Promote the innovation at an early age.

–  Support and disseminate entrepreneurial culture in all the schools in the Region of Murcia.

– Motivate young people to generate new ideas and turn them into a real business idea.

The Final Phase will take place on 10 March, where the five best projects of each category will present their business idea over a jury.

But before these date, we want to talk about people that participate in this project. We are going to know the story about a teacher and their students that have participated in this project so many times.

Pepa Ortiz is a teacher at IES San Juan Bosco (Lorca, Murcia) and this current school year she’s going to engage together with her pupils in the Imagina una Empresa Diferente  Project. This group of students and its teacher is aimed by their great motivation and the urge to improve themselves in order to implement a business concept that will be able to surprise the jury.

Why is Imagina una Empresa Diferente such a different and innovative Project?

Maybe because this a ‘close’ one. In other projects the teachers sometimes seem to be forgotten, but we were lucky to be advised by Ricardo López Vilar, from CEEIM. Ricardo made us feel from the outset not only as mere fellows but as an essential part of the Project in order to encourage our students to take part in this contest. He made all of his best  to acquaint himself with every high school partner teacher. To be honest, I can tell he has been to every high school in Murcia ‘fighting” to convey teachers and pupils his enthusiasm and love for a special attitude that all the students have to learn from their earlier ages in order to get a better professional future.

In addition, this Project able to join different schools in the  Region  of  Murcia. It achieves to bring to the light a lot of skills that students didn’t know they had until now; likewise, the Project evaluates their creativity in different areas.

How do you encourage your students to join the Project?

It has been easy to me, because at IES San Juan Bosco I teach a subject called ‘Empresa e Iniciativa Empresarial’, in which the students have to carry out a business Project. So we encourage them to engage in the contest with their own business projects. The fact that there is a prize could be a positive influence too.

 How would you assess previous experience?, Why are you here again?

Our experience in former editions has been very constructive, mainly  to have the chance to verify how the students are engaged in the business development and, when they are chosen for the final stage, how they do their very best to make the presentation to the jury and audience (most of the times they did not realice they could make it).

We want to participate once more because we’d like to keep the status of being the most prized high school in this contest. We realized that it’s becoming more and more difficult to get  the prize because the standards have been raising over the years due to the progressive involvement of the high schools in the work of the students, which is great.

In the future, at least one out of five workers will be an entrepreneur; and he will have to hire the other four, so it´s time to train them.

Which are your expectations for this year? Will you be able to surprise the jury again?

As usual, our initial purpose is to encourage students to implement an innovative idea that could aid to solve a problem and to learn how to use the CANVAS method. It is a fact that it will be an idea that will stand out. Indeed, we will try to surprise the audience, but  the competition is becoming harder and harder.

How do you think the Project could help the engaged students?

The Project knows how to bring to light the best student skills, some of them unknown by themselves until now. Taking part in the contest makes the motivation come out naturally. As far as I’m concerned, motivation is crucial at these ages, motivation makes their hidden skills  bring to light skills  they never had appreciated before.

In a former edition, there was a stutterer among the chosen students for the final. He was ashamed to speak in public. My personal motto is that “everyone takes part in everything”. This way, he assumed his difficulty as a  personal challenge and with the help of his fellows and the aid of some technics we found on the Internet, he was able to keep on talking for a minute and half without any stuttering. After he had finished we hugged each other excited: he couldn’t believe it,  his parents, among the audience, either.

A very close link rises among the selected students every year, because they must prepare an oral presentation about their Project. I am  a sort of coach for them, because I am devoted mainly to ‘squeeze’ them -as they say- and to require them the best they can offer. Sometimes the outcome is powerful even for them.

Pepa Ortiz vuelve a participar en el concurso junto a sus alumnos del IES San Juan Bosco de Lorca

Pepa Ortiz and her students of IES San Juan Bosco in Lorca will participate in ‘Imagina una empresa diferente’ Project 2017

To what extent do you think it is  relevant to encourage the entrepreneurial skills in the educational system?

I believe it’s relevant that this encouragement is made in all areas, but it’s especially important at school. I think teachers must not be afraid of students developing their entrepreneurial skills; we have to help them so that the topic of motivation is increasingly present in schools and high schools. The presence of such topics related to motivation will teach them as professional adults who often  will be required to innovate their ways to deal with issues at work  -as free professional or employees-  or even in their private lives.

At the same time, we as teachers require a lot of specific training to become ‘referees’ or ‘coaches’ for the new students. I believe this is going to be our essential role for the teaching in the future at these educational stages.

I think teachers must not be afraid of students developing their entrepreneurial skills.

To what extent do you think motivation to young people is relevant  for the new business innovation and development ideas?

To put it in a sentence: ‘In the future, at least one out of five workers will be an entrepreneur; and he will have to hire the other four’, so it’s time to train them.  Furthermore, I’m pretty sure that the way we were used to conceive the employment contracts is going to change. In the future, many of the tasks the workers do today will be done by robots, so in the future those workers will have to look for a way to become essential and indispensable in the area they currently work at.

Do you think there should be more projects of this kind in the educational system?

Yes, I think so. And I suggest that not only in business areas, but also in science or arts too. I am talking about contests where these innovatory projects made by students from different subjects could be appreciated and prized.  In my view,  research  must evolve from being an exception to become a rule in our national educational system.