Entrepreneurial education

If elected in 2018, a State Liberal Government will implement a number of policy measures to give our students skills they need to start a business, innovate, and contribute to our economy.


Entrepreneurship is a key ingredient towards providing growth and jobs in our economy. It is the inspiration that turns an idea into a small business, a small business into a larger business.

Sadly South Australia has languished with the lowest rate of business start-ups on the mainland. We have also seen tens of thousands of young people leaving South Australia for other states since Labor took office. Too many of our young people leave school or further education convinced that to get a job that will lead to the career they want, they need to leave South Australia.

Turning this around needs to start with ensuring that our future business leaders have the skills to turn their aspirations into reality here in South Australia, and the confdence to know that starting their own business may be the way to do it.

When the Liberal Party has previously advocated for entrepreneurial subjects and entrepreneurial schools in South Australia, the Weatherill Labor Government has opposed it. Labor has argued that there are already business related subjects offered in the curriculum, and that the trades training centres and other VET programs already in schools provide all the work-ready skills our students need.

Labor’s solutions are narrow and focussed only on certain jobs, and certain roles in businesses. A genuine entrepreneurial education curriculum will include new subject choices giving students skills they need to start a business.

Specialist entrepreneurial schools will be created that will not only offer the entrepreneurial subject choices, but will also work with South Australian business leaders and entrepreneurs on programs in the school setting. These schools can provide especially important opportunities in economically depressed areas where the need for new business start-ups is especially profound.

The opportunities are accentuated in rural and regional areas with the possibility for specialist entrepreneurial schools to engage with primary industries. Our rural and regional schools benefit in this area from their location – their proximity to the sources of our agricultural and mining prosperity, and the increasing opportunities the world’s growing needs for food and other agricultural commodities will create for these students in the years ahead.

Specialist courses and programs in our public schooling system are not new – currently forty nine South Australian public schools offer specialist programs in music, sport, languages or trades. All schools with specialist programs still provide the same core curriculum as other public schools in addition to their specialist area. But these programs offer a positive range of choices to students who have particular strengths or needs that would benefit from that specialist focus.


If elected in 2018, a State Liberal Government will implement a number of policy measures to give our students skills they need to start a business, innovate, and contribute to our economy.

  • We will work with educational experts and business leaders, in liaison with the SACE Board, to develop new business and entrepreneurialism focussed SACE subjects.
  • These subjects will complement existing workplace related subjects but have a particular focus on enterprise and starting up and running businesses, and will be available to all schools that wish to introduce them.
  • We will create a specialist program, beginning with four high schools across South Australia which will be known as Entrepreneurial Schools – just as some schools are now specialist-entry sports, or specialist-entry performing arts schools.
  • Two Entrepreneurial Schools will be based in the metropolitan area, and two in rural and regional areas.
  • The two rural and regional Entrepreneurial Schools will have a particular focus on engaging with primary industries.
  • Business leaders, entrepreneurs and other relevant community leaders will be engaged as role models and mentors and schools will collaborate with local businesses to innovate new programs at a school level

The State Liberals understand that in our next generation there are driven young men and women who could be starting businesses, daring to innovate, and leading the industries of the future.

We will ensure that our students get the chance to learn the skills they need not only to get a job, and a career, but also to create jobs. We need more young people to be job-makers, confdent in their understanding of what it takes to turn their ideas into reality.

When students leave school they will have a better understanding of enterprise and entrepreneurship, and how businesses work and grow. They will have more confidence to go forward and create opportunities for themselves in a competitive workforce.

You can download the fully policy document here.