Engaging Education: Bridging the gap between the classroom and business

Founder and Director of Engaging Education Karen Dennett sat down with The Small Business Lounge this week for an informative, one on one interview to discuss her 2019 business goals as well as her involvement with The Small Business Lounge since starting her business.


How did the idea for Engaging Education emerge?

Karen conceptualised Engaging Education when she identified a gap in the way education around business was being offered to young people.  Karen, a former business enterprise teacher, said that “often business is taught as an elective stand-alone subject in schools rather than something that is and should be encompassed holistically into learning”.

It was in this realisation that Karen decided to start her business as a means of connecting high school students with businesses and industry.

The premise behind Engaging Education is to get students out of the classroom to learn directly from industry professionals. The goal being, to enrich the hypothetical theory learning and offer the students hands-on “real world” scenarios and experiences as a new way of learning core classroom concepts.

Engaging Education helps to educate students through addressing how core curriculum is applied to real job roles and fully operational businesses.


Engaging Education and the Student Business Conference

Engaging Education is recognised for their Student Business Conference which has been running successfully for three years. The conference provides a variety of handpicked workshop facilitators, who are experts in their field and have a lot to offer and share with the students.  

The purpose of the conference is to motivate and educate students through engaging presentations, workshops and activities, all of which happen at Murdoch University. The conference, which occurs once a year seeks to help students build confidence, encouraging them to think critically.  

More so, Engaging Education runs smaller conferences to inform, inspire and educate students all while connecting them to companies and industry leaders.  Karen says that there has been a great response from the students, teachers and business professionals alike.


Goals for Engaging Education in 2019

Looking into 2019 Karen is aiming to develop her teacher’s professional currency service, which provides teachers of VET in schools with industry insights within meaningful and engaging workshops.  

Teachers learn directly from leading professionals, so that they may update their knowledge and gain real examples and activities that can then be relayed to students.

Karen believes this is just one of the ways that schools can make a difference and offer their students the insight and hands-on learning they deserve.


The New Web App: Teen Biz Base

Karen also discussed with us the development and launch of her new web app “Teen Biz Base” which once again seeks to inspire, educate and engage students aged 13-19.

Teen Biz Base offers students the ability to take charge of their own learning, and educate themselves on starting their own business, formulating ideas, and how to then make those ideas a reality, all with the guidance and know-how of experts in the field. 

They learn at their own pace and the structure allows students to freely learn ‘on the fly’, with the ability to chat live to business professionals, the platform seeks to offer something unique to students. 

Karen says that the app is about to go into development and that she is launching a funding campaign which seeks to give back to all those who donate; currently there will be four key funding options available, that will allow both for the development of the app and to make a direct impact for teenagers with rewards including subscription to the Teen Biz Base.  


How The Small Business Lounge helped

Karen went on to discuss her experience with The Small Business Lounge and how it has played a pivotal role in her formulating her ideas for her business and app.

She says that Director Brooke Arnott’s coaching, advice and guidance as well as the Lounge Membership has not only opened doors for Karen in terms of networking but has allowed her to gain knowledge from other leading business professionals that she wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to obtain.  

Karen also mentioned that expansion and growth of her conferences in the new year, with the aim to make them more frequent, she also expressed how excited she was to see what 2019 had in store for Engaging Education and her business relationship with The Small Business Lounge.