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United Business Kids (UBK), Agustin, Alinghi, Chikashi, Do Hyun, Endric, Grant, and Khoi are a group of UNIS Hanoi students from 5B who decided to investigate how to develop a business. From this i-Act idea, back in September 2018, they identified individual skills and areas they had strengths in, such as sport, baking, budgeting and innovation and embarked on an inquiry that would take them on a journey of discovery. Discovery about themselves, discovery about businesses and the greatest discovery of all, how to help others less fortunate than themselves.
It was decided that UBK would begin a business that made homemade baked goods and beverages and then sell them in different locations around Tay Ho and Ciputra. Throughout this process, UBK learned to budget, compromise, organise, communicate, research and self-manage, in order to accomplish the goals they had co-constructed. An example of this, was when UBK realised they needed to adjust pricing to meet customer demands, depending on the socio-economic position of the community areas they were selling their goods. UBK managed and budgeted their earnings to enable them to restock raw ingredients and adapt their sales items depending on the popularity of different products.
Part way through this experience, students began to ask themselves what they could do with the profits they were making. UBK decided they wanted to give back to the local Hanoi community and were clear that the connection between children and education, needed to be the focus that guided their decision.
One student, Do Hyun, had previous experience with a foundation called 'Project Sprouts'. Project Sprouts is a foundation that supplies children with the daily necessities needed to attend school. Items such as school bags, exercise books, pens and pencils and in some cases warm clothing, are purchased and given to children in need to support their education. UBK decided this was the foundation they wished to support.
During the year, UBK have organised permission from various venues to allow them to sell their homemade baked goods and beverages. They have taken advantage of calendared events and planned their sales around these. They have used their own time to shop for and baked goods for sale, all whilst learning to keep track of financial needs such as income, outgoings, reimbursements and time spent. Many of UBK's parents supported their son's business initiative, by supervising sales on the weekends or allowing their kitchens to be used to bake and prepare sale goods.
The overall outcome of this initiative has raised a total of twelve million, six hundred and forty thousand Vietnamese Dong (12,640,000VND).
UBK met with Mr Xander Robinson, from 'Project Sprouts' on Tuesday, 11 June, to hand over the funds they had raised. Mr Robinson commented that he had never met such committed students. He thanked each student and expressed how inspired he was to have met them, saying "each of you is destined to be leaders in the future because you already understand the need, to take action in order to make a difference for others".
UBK students finish the year knowing they have made a difference.
"I am privileged to have had the opportunity to be in this class and want other children to have a better education too". - Alinghi
"I am proud of the effort we all gave to this action". - Chikashi
"To run a business, you need to be responsible and organised". - Endric
"Learning to run a business takes time, it is a process". - Do Hyun
"Anyone can do it, it just means a commitment to making a difference". - Khoi