19 shortlisted schools from across Scotland came together during the UN COP26 Climate Summit to pitch their social enterprise ideas to a panel of experts at a special COP26 themed Dragons’ Den event at Glasgow Strathclyde Union.


Kirkhill Primary from Newton Mearns were crowned overall primary school winners by a panel of experts, including Diana Ellis from WOSDEC, Sarah Wagner from After the Pandemic, Bayile Adeoti from Dechomai Events and Angela Halliday from Sodexo. Kyle Academy from Ayr presented their social enterprise virtually and were crowned the winners of the secondary school category. Renfrew High School and Uig Primary were also highly commended.


The pupils from Kirkhill Primary pitched their Development of Climate Justice Education programme which would see the creation of informative, creative resources for teachers to use in class and an online training programme. They also want to deliver live online lessons for children in schools.

Paul Tyler, Principal Teacher at Kirkhill Primary, said: “The pupils are absolutely delighted to be crowned the winners at the COP26 Dragons Den event here in Glasgow. The whole process of getting children to think about Social Enterprises and Climate Justice has been inspiring and we are honoured to be part of such an amazing opportunity for young people, giving them invaluable skills for life. We have made connections and had opportunities that we couldn’t have had in any other circumstance”.


The Dragons’ Den event is being delivered as part of the After The Pandemic programme for COP26 in partnership with Development Education Centre WOSDEC, who work closely together to ensure all educators across Scotland have access to high-quality Professional Learning opportunities and innovative learning and teaching practices. The Dragons’ Den event in particular was organised by Social Enterprise Academy, which since 2007 has delivered Social Enterprise Schools, innovated in partnership with the Scottish Government. 


Pupils across the country were challenged to create a social enterprise concept that is climate smart and future first. The programme is young people led and empowers pupils to tackle causes important to them in relation to climate change.


Neil McLean, CEO at Social Enterprise, said: “It is inspiring to see how young people across Scotland have been creating positive changes in their community. The pupils involved in the projects have shown us how their bright and bold ideas turn into innovative and profitable small social enterprises that really make a big difference.


“Congratulations to Kirkhill Primary and Kyle Academy and all of the shortlisted schools that presented in the final, it was such an inspiring day to be a part of. We’re not just seeing Scotland’s young people develop key entrepreneurial and employability skills, we’re seeing an empowered movement of young social entrepreneurs championing social issues that really matter to them. We are delighted to recognise and celebrate their achievements.”


Shortlisted schools included:

  1. UIG Primary
  2. St Margaret’s Academy
  3. Bridge of Allan Primary
  4. St Denis’ Primary
  5. Renfrew High School
  6. Mount Vernon Primary School
  7. Corpus Christi Primary
  8. Oakgrove Primary
  9. Braidbar Primary
  10. St Bernard’s Primary
  11. Kirkhill Primary
  12. St Ninian’s High School
  13. Gavinburn Primary
  14. St Francis Xavier’s Primary
  15. Woodfarm High School
  16. Hillview Primary
  17. James Young High School
  18. Kyle Academy
  19. Our Lady & St Patrick’s High School


For more information on how to get involved in the Social Enterprise Schools programme, please visit: