The $20 Boss program backs young people to build, design and deliver a business with real money, and real consequences. Each year, a number of our most incredible $20 Boss businesses are announced as National $20 Boss Award winners and high commendations at FYA’s Unleashed Awards.
Further to those awards, our $20 Boss State and Territory Awards recognise $20 Boss winners from each state and territory for the Enterprise of the Year (years 5-8) and Enterprise of the Year (years 9-12).
Hazen from John Forrest Secondary College had moved far from his country in rural WA to attend school in Perth, which led to feelings of homesickness. That’s why he started up his business, Beanie Hats, which aimed to fill a gap in the market, providing sports-related beanies. But Beanie Hats also allowed customers to connect and feel pride in their culture through the product, no matter how far from country they are. The beanies are handmade using polar fleece and jersey cotton and feature animal track designs in the Aboriginal flag colours—red, yellow and black. Beanie Hats plans to continue growing next year and use profits to create extra beanies to send back to Hazen’s community, keeping them warm during the cold desert winter.
Blue DC founder, Jorjino from John Forrest Secondary College in WA, runs drawing lessons for peers who want to improve their animation and cartoon creation skills using pencil and ink on paper. Blue DC aims to combat boredom during break-times by giving customers a place to go and learn a new skill. Customers are able to take home their own handmade, recycled, drawing book at the end of their class. Jorjino hopes that in the future people will continue to enjoy his Blue DC lessons and continue to practice what they’ve learnt from him. He hopes that this business will help people understand that we’re capable of more than we might think.
Eat, Play, Chat is a social enterprise that offers high tea, board games and a chat with a difference. The business is run by Year 6 students Braydon, Ruby, Avneet and Ethan from Oran Park Anglican College in NSW. Eat, Play, Chat aims to bring happiness into the lives of elderly people and create the opportunity to build relationships between younger and older generations in the local community. The team prepared high tea goods like sandwiches, delicious baked items, and beverages to serve the residents and sat with them to chat and play games together. Half the profits raised went to Compassion Australia. In the future they hope to open the Eat, Play, Chat experience to more of their school peers now that connections with the retirement village have been made.
Dogs for dogs, started by Kelly, Hannah, and Tash from Shenton College Deaf Education Centre aims to raise awareness for the number of dogs searching for a home in local shelters. The students felt that if they could inform others about the individual stories of the dogs for adoption, it might inspire people to talk about giving a dog a furever home. The group ran several projects simultaneously in order to make profits: they created and sold tailored dog bandanas; contacted businesses for donations of dog products for a raffle; made and sold biscuits at school, and made and sold dog treats. To further raise awareness they distributed flyers from the dog shelter, sharing the stories of the dogs for adoption. Dogs for dogs hopes that in the future when the customer’s dogs are seen wearing their bandannas, that it sparks community conversation and continues to raise awareness about animal adoption.
Melba Secondary College started the Pay it Forward Project where students were able to choose an organisation and then plan how they would pay it forward to them. Members of Pay it Forward Project chose to donate their profits to the Hope Project, an organisation that advocates for refugees and internally displaced people on the Thai/Burma border. Through this organisation, the students contributed to refugee students’ educational outcomes locally, but also to refugees and internally displaced people globally. Students ran an event selling handmade food products to their community, raising an impressive $1,700 for the Hope Project. Students were able to give back to the Karen people of the Thailand-Burma border region in Southeast Asia, where many of the students originated from. Now that’s what we call paying it forward!
Molong is a suburb in the drought affected Central West region of New South Wales. Drought can affect water and resource management, soil quality, farming and agriculture. The local hardware store in town closed permanently earlier this year, restricting the availability of manure in the town for residents. Moo Poo, founded by students Katelan, Henrietta and Mercades from Molong Central School New South Wales, had the vision to ensure no one in Molong is left without their green thumb by selling cow and horse manure locally. Moo Poo is 100% natural and sourced from a local farm and is packaged using recycled materials, with delivery available for orders within town limits. Half of all profits were donated to Buy a Bale charity to aid rural communities and Australian farmers also affected by drought.
A team of students from Years 5 and 6 at St Clare of Assisi Primary School created a social enterprise selling muffins from a designated safe space cafe at the school. Through consultation with the school community the enterprise was able to identify and address three school community needs: healthier food options, designated safe space within the school and donating to local homeless populations. All profits were generously donated to St Vincent De Paul’s Night Patrol, helping to support homeless people in Canberra through mobile outreach.
Choc-pops, from Trinity Christian School, provided a wide range of desserts at their food store. Items included all kinds of delectable sweets including: chocolate covered marshmallows and strawberries, homemade chocolate, and lollipops. Choc-pops donated a percentage of their profits to Operation Christmas Child, helping to provide gift boxes to children around the world. With great results students are excited about the future potential of continuing this enterprise.
Savannah created the enterprise Sav’s Seasonal Spreads, utilizing seasonal fruits and vegetables sourced from local residents’ gardens and orchards to produce a variety of condiments. Savannah aimed to reduce food wastage by collecting and using seconds, the fruit farmers cannot sell. Sav’s Seasonal Spreads donated 50% of all profits to aid drought affected farmers in Western NSW.
Victoria’s Happy Pets, an EDEN College enterprise, creates bandanas for pet dogs and cats utilising a blend of new & recycled materials. Victoria’s Happy Pets provided a low cost accessory for community members to be able to pamper their pets. The enterprise continues to flourish, with plans to create and sell more bandanas in the future.
A duo of Year 7 students from Shailer Park State High School created the enterprise Little Nick Nacks to provide students and teachers with affordable, organic, handmade beauty products and accessories. Accessories such as scrunchies in school colours were sold to strengthen school culture and pride within the community. Little Nick Nacks combatted single use plastic waste in the environment through a bring your own jar in-store initiative, reducing waste produced by the enterprise.
Founder of Handy Dandy Solutions, TAFE Queensland student Daniel Woods, created the HDS Aqua Mount, taking the hassle out of pool cleaning. The unique product removes the burden of carting the pool cleaner in and out of the pool, allowing it to stay mounted to the pool and out of the path of swimmers. Daniel has donated 20% of the profits to organisations combating Motor Neuron Disease.
Bailey’s Bee Beneficials, created by King’s Baptist Grammar School student Bailey, aims to increase the local bee population. Through research Bailey discovered plants that attract bees, which he purchased and resold in his local school. School community members were able to purchase and replant the flowers in their own homes to do their part in helping to sustain the local bee population and pollination of plants. Bailey’s Bee Beneficials donated all of their funds to Transform Cambodia, supporting local people in Cambodia to improve the educational and health outcomes of street children in Cambodia.
A Scotch College student founded TJ Media, a digital photography company delivering high quality profile pictures to consumers with instant delivery and affordable prices. TJ Media runs completely carbon neutral, using renewable energy to charge batteries and only distributing products to customers digitally. All profits were donated to the School Strike 4 Climate movement.
Handy Boys are a maintenance business providing various services to community members such as: yard maintenance, car washing, window cleaning. Handy Boys supported community members who were timepoor as well as the eldery to complete laborious work around their yards.
T & C Candles, founded by MacKillop Catholic College students Talia Swards and Cooper Wellard, produces aromatic candles utilising recycled materials known as candle waste. All proceeds of their enterprise were generously donated to the charity Cancer Council, helping people affected by or concerned about cancer.
Joy, a social enterprise created by students from Haileybury College, was designed to bring a spark of joy to the school community during the often stressful assignment period. The enterprise sold bags to students filled with items considered to brighten up their days and reduce stress. Items included anything from stress balls to slime and sweets. Joy raised a total of $205 which was donated to One Girl, helping to ensure every girl on the planet has the right to an education.
The Traffic Jam Company, the work of Trinity Grammar School, Kew students, is a new software engineering, entertainment and social engagement enterprise. Aware of the daily impact traffic build up causes in their local community, developers wanted to spread awareness by creating an entertaining but insightful game. The game draws on observations of relatable impacts on local community members whilst also encouraging people to focus on the positive aspects of their surroundings. The game is incredibly entertaining and even features original artwork of Melbourne icons. The developers released their first game Traffic Jam available for free at major online application stores.
Students of Christmas Island District High School created Deep Blue gifts to combat the increasingly negative environmental impacts of rubbish washing up on their shorelines. Students collected and utilised rubbish found on the beach to create unique and innovative gifts that they could sell to community members and tourists. Tyres were turned into planter boxes and driftwood into homewares. Deep Blue Gifts also pledged to remove 5kg of rubbish off the beach for every $20 spent by customers. The enterprise continues to educate Christmas Island locals about the spread of rubbish and gives customers an opportunity to make genuine and positive environmental impact.
Sow the Seeds, founded by students of Kolbe Catholic College, sells annual flower seeds in hand-made calico bags to consumers. Customers first have the chance to plant and grow their seeds, once flowered they can either enjoy the flowers or choose to harvest the flowers and gift the bouquet inside the calico bag to someone else. This simple cycle of kindness and consideration aims to create a caring and more connected community.