Dubai: Three Dubai students managed to launch their own “businesses” during the COVID-19 related movement restrictions that were in place earlier this year.
While continuing with distance learning and through the summer, the trio from Dwight School Dubai began their entrepreneurial journey as part of the IB curriculum school’s ‘Spark Tank’ programme, which encourages students to develop entrepreneurial and other skills beyond classroom learning.
Grade five student Lina Rovere, 10, said she is “a passionate art student” whose goal is “to spread happiness through my fashion designs”. She spent her summer taking art courses, meeting artists and creating designs. As a result, she launched her own clothing label ‘Fashion Frista’, selling T-shirts for her peer group. Lina said: “I’ve always had a passion for fashion design, and I felt that there was nothing out there for us 10-year-olds. That’s when I came up with the idea of creating really cool designs for clothing. I’ve had a great response so far, and I’m planning to introduce more products such as bucket hats, phone cases and shoe stickers. Together with Dwight School Dubai, I’m planning to develop my business skills further to become a successful entrepreneur.”
Arisha Abdullah, who is also 10 years old and in grade five, spent the past few months building her own “slime lab”. During her time at home, she produced almost 20 different types of slime, and launched ‘Slimy Tales’, selling slime to like-minded kids in Dubai. The next step for Arisha is to develop her community initiatives and launch a range of online events teaching other slime fans how to create her masterpieces. Arisha said: “Kids can’t get enough of slime — a wonderful gooey substance and great for stress release. I decided to make it into a cool and fun toy, with lots of textures and colours. My mission is to spread smiles with slimes. Every purchase helps me raise funds for the many under privileged children around the world.”
Pop meets streetwear
For Adam Eustace, a 16-year-old grade 11 student, his love for design and fashion inspired him to launch his own streetwear brand ‘KYO’. The name originates from the Japanese word ‘Kyoretsuna’ meaning intensity. Adam said: “I wanted to express my own form of fashion and bring something different to the table. KYO is the definition of pop culture and streetwear culture — meeting at a midpoint.” Adam had launched the KYO brand with four designs for T-shirts and hoodies. He wants to make a mark on the streetwear culture, and is keen to push his brand’s presence through activations with the community. Within the six months of his brand’s release, he has managed to sell out his first limited stock.
As part Dwight’s Spark Tank programme, the school has recently developed a new curriculum model called ‘The Spark Framework’, which covers enterprise and many other areas such as social media and digital content creation, coding, robotics and artificial intelligence. The Spark Framework has already inspired a new session called ‘Young Entrepreneurs’, which supports the schools Primary Years Programme (PYP) students and their ideas. This will eventually lead to helping with testing and marketing their products within the school community and beyond.
Evo Hannan, Middle Years Programme Design Teacher and Spark Tank Coordinator, Dwight School Dubai, said: “It’s very important for us here at Dwight School Dubai to embrace the individuality of each learner as no two students are the same and therefore we recognise and foster each student’s gift and talents. We are incredibly proud of our students who have demonstrated their entrepreneurial skills, and will continue to support them in developing their businesses through the Spark Tank and our Young Entrepreneurs programme.”