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History of ABW


ABW simulations available on any device

ABW simulations have been rewritten to make them more available to teachers and students. The new look and feel of the simulations gives teachers a dashboard to work on which is more intuitive. Students get access to the ABW support site for resources and can participate in the simulations via computer, tablet, or smartphone.


The Global Enterprise Challenge for 2014

The United Nations chose 2014 as the Year of Family Farming, recognizing that family farms employed most of the worlds farmers and generated two thirds of the worlds food. The challenge of promoting Family Farming was won by Sisowath High School Cambodia, with the Young Enterprise Trust team from New Zealand taking out the creativity award.


Bridgeclimb inspiration for 2013 Global Enterprise Challenge

Paul Cave, Chairman and Founder of Bridgeclimb launched the 2013 Global Enterprise Challenge. Students from 17 countries participated. Students from Stuyvesant High School New York, USA, were the overall winners. ABW launched its first ipad app ‘ABW Sandwich’ a free program on the App Store which aims to explain the basics of business to the primary market.


New E-learning packages and E-commerce single player simulation

ABW launched new and updated E-learning packages covering the expanded range of simulations. New E-commerce enabled single player version of the ABW simulations will enable participants to log on 24/7 and experience the ABW business simulations.


Manufacturing Simulation – Wins Consensus Software Awards

ABW wins the coveted Consensus Software Award for its Manufacturing Simulation. The Hon Malcolm Turnbull at a gala reception presented the award. ABW’s win marked the first time in the 12-year history of the awards that the award had been presented to the same organisation in two consecutive years. In 2011 ABW will run the Global Enterprise Challenge for students from more than 15 countries. Victoria University will launch a new variant of the ABW state program for Victorian students. The program will combine on site visits to the university with the challenge of participating online in ABW’s Hospitality simulation.


New Café Simulation – Wins Consensus Software Awards

ABW to launch new website powered by Joomla, new cloud computing CRM system Zoho, new E-learning modules in marketing, operations, finance and a new simulation the ‘Café’ bringing to 5 the number of simulations on offer. The new Café simulation will offer students the opportunity to commence operations as a one person start-up business then to progress to a multi café operation. The Café won the Consensus Software Award with the judges citation stating that ‘ABW is a lighthouse for the rest of the community in delivering on the clever country concept’ The Award was presented by Senator Stephen Conroy, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.


ABW recognised by Global Best Award in Helsinki, Finland

ABW was recognised with a Global Best Award from the Conference Board of Canada at the International Partnership Network (IPN) in Helsinki, Finland. In Australia ABW is now accredited in all Australian states and territories where there is an accreditation standard. The ABW National Awards, GEC Qualifier and Global Enterprise Challenge are now run totally online with teams submitting their entries on YouTube and judging taking place with judges working from their office or home.


Retailing Simulation & ABW to host Global Enterprise Challenge

For 2008 ABW has developed a retailing simulation which will allow participants to take over a Consumer Electronics Store and expand to a small chain of up to 4 stores plus an online sales outlet. This brings the number of simulations now available to four, being Manufacturing, Hospitality, IT and Retailing. This year will see ABW host the Global Enterprise Challenge (GEC) where students from some 17 countries compete in a 24 hour challenge. ABW's Leading Enterprise Education Program (LEEP) will submit its final report to the Federal Government. ABW is making available to schools a free guide on developing School-Business Partnerships. ABW business simulations are proving popular with real businesses such as IBM, Dell Computers, Fuji Xerox, Symantec, Celistica, Accor Hotels, not just in Australia but across the globe.


Single player version of ABW Simulation introduced

The take-up of ABW programs has gotten off to a strong start with 77% of 2007 schools re-enrolling to participate by the end of February 2007. Exciting new developments for 2007 include the development of a single player version of the online manufacturing simulation which will allow a single player to enroll and play online against 3 cyber opponents. The ABW website will be re-launched as two separate sites. Site one will cater to the needs of first time inquirers who only want to know what ABW is and how to get involved. Site two will be for those who need access to the extensive range of ABW support materials. Under development are new training materials which will be released online to meet the flexible learning requirements of students working outside of the classroom.


Milestone reached as ABW student participants reach 100,000

Now in its 14th year student numbers participating in ABW Programs exceeds 100,000. In-school programs increased to 13,055, On-Line 1,030, Primary 330, GEC 72, and in Scotland 315. Corporate participation doubled to 667. ABW corporate programs are delivered by ASK Learning to leading corporations including IBM, Dell, and Fuji Xerox in Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, and the United States. In the Global Enterprise Challenge, Australia was highly commended, rating in the top 4 of 15 countries competing. The challenge was, “to prepare an action plan for their city or municipality that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen the economy over the next ten years”. Launceston Church Grammar School from Tasmania was the Australian winner.


Expansion of Online Programs

Participants taking part in ABW In school programs decreased slightly to 11,892 as more schools switched to participation in online programs with 1,550 participating. Corporate Programs increased to 320, primary saw 311, GEC 75, and in Scotland 275. In the GEC, Australia ranked in the top four of the 16 countries competing. The National Program was hosted by the University of Sydney and students were asked to “advise an Australian franchised company on the potential internationalism of their business”; the Victorian team won this competition.


5 Year Contract with Scottish Enterprise - Win Creativity Trophy at Global Enterprise Challenge (GEC)

Participants taking part in ABW Programs increased to 12,725. Including 760 On-Line, 450 Primary, 72 in the GEC, 80 in the Arran Program (Scotland) and 80 corporate. The Primary program expanded to 7 schools in 4 states. Scottish Enterprise entered into a 5 year contract with ABW after a successful extended pilot with 9 Scottish High Schools on the Isle of Arran. Australia ranked in the top two of 16 countries competing in the International Enterprise Challenge and won the Global Creativity Trophy. Curtin University ran its second program in WA. The National Program was hosted by Education Queensland and the Queensland University of Technology. Students were challenged to create a business plan for genetically modified cotton; the West Australian team took first place.


IT Simulation. Retail Simulation. AusEE Program for Primary Students

Students attending secondary school programs increased to 11,402. On-Line students numbered 420 and Primary students 222. A new IT Simulation was developed with funding from DEST and support from the IT Skills Hub and was launched at the IBM Centre by the Federal Minister for Education, Dr Brendan Nelson. A new program called AusEE was developed for Primary students featuring a new Retail Simulation. The AusEE program commences with an intensive phase of one week followed by an extensive phase of up to one year. Pilot programs ran in NSW & Qld. Australia ranked in the top four countries competing in the International Enterprise Challenge. Curtin University ran its inaugural program in WA. The National Program was hosted by the University of South Australia and launched by Joe Hockey the Federal Minister for Tourism. NSW won the National competition for the first time..


International Program. Launch of ABW OnLine

Tertiary program registrations have increased this year. Several TAFE colleges registered to run the ABW hospitality program. ABW was launched in Scotland in June 2002. ABW Online is currently being developed with the assistance of the Department of State and Regional Development, Victoria. The ABW website has been redeveloped, see Corporate programs are on the increase. ABW participants represented Australia in the International Enterprise Challenge in competition with 16 other countries. ABW celebrated its 10th Anniversary on April 5th.


Hospitality Program. First program in Mandarin

The School programs expanded to include 8,227 students. The NSW State Program was taken up by Sydney University (program director Terry Beed). The new Hospitality simulation was introduced. The first ABW program to be conducted in a language other than English was delivered entirely in Mandarin at the University of Sydney for a group of Chinese business people from Wenzhou Province near Shanghai. Scottish Enterprise sent representatives to attend a NSW school program with a view to launching ABW in Scotland. Questacon, The National Science and Technology Centre proposed a joint venture to introduce a Science & Technology style ABW program. Founder Norman Owens enrolled in the Masters of Philosophy program at Sydney University to conduct longitudinal research on the impact of the ABW program. The National Program was held at Murdoch University Western Australia.


Corporate Program expanded

Although the Sydney Olympics caused some schools to postpone their program, 6577 students participated. The Corporate programs expanded to include all states. The Research project conducted by UTS Research Centre for VET showed significant positive change in the attitude of students after participating in an ABW program. The National Program was held at St Andrew's College, the University of Sydney.


Programs now running in all states and territories

The first Corporate Program was held for staff of the Crane Metals Group at Macquarie Graduate School of Management. An ABW milestone was reached with programs running in all Australian States and Territories and 7096 students participating. The first ABW Program was held for university students at Swinburne University, Victoria. Fifteen Directors of US Business Week programs attended the ABW Forum in Sydney. The National Program was held at the Queensland University of Technology.


Indigenous Program - Port Augusta SA

The schools program expanded to include 48 schools. The Research Centre for Vocational Education and Training at the University of Technology, Sydney was appointed to conduct research on the short-term effects of participation in ABW programs. The first Indigenous ABW program was held at Port Augusta SA. National Program held at University of South Australia.


"Leaders of Australian Business" breakfast series

A three-year Federal Government grant, funded the appointment of a general manager, Sandra Ross and the appointment of regional managers. The schools program expanded to include 33 schools and included Queensland and Tasmanian schools. The first "Leaders of Australian Business" breakfast was held with Daniel Petre former Managing Director of Microsoft Australia as the keynote speaker. The National Program was held at Deakin University, Victoria.


SA and QLD State Programs

The Queensland University of Technology (program directors Tom Cronk and Lauren Want) and the University of South Australia (program director John Thornton) launched their inaugural programs as the host universities in their respective states. 18 School programs ran in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia and the National Program was held at the University of Technology, Sydney.


National Program - WA, NSW & VIC participate

Deakin University launched the first Victorian program (program director Alison Holden). The schools program was expanded to 11 high schools. Assisted by the Employment and Skills Formation Council, Norman Owens travelled around Australia, meeting with all Ministers of Education and attracting widespread support. The first National Program was held in Sydney, involving the winning teams from the Western Australian, New South Wales and Victorian state programs. WA won the inaugural National Championship.


In-school program - trialled at 5 NSW high schools

In January, Norman Owens accompanied by Brian Finn (then Chairman of IBM Australia) and Reg Clairs (then Managing Director for Woolworths) attended the launch of the first WA program (then program director Phil Hancock) attended by 60 students. With programs running on both sides of the Australian continent, and having been awarded a Churchill Fellowship, Norman travelled to the US and participated as a mentor in business week style programs running in Pennsylvania, Iowa and Minnesota. Encouraged by Margaret Owens who saw the need for the program to be made available to all senior students, not just the fortunate few who could be accommodated at the state residential programs run at host universities, a school program was developed and trialled at 5 New South Wales high schools.


First program

April saw the first program run at Dunmore Lang College, North Ryde NSW supported by the University of Technology, Sydney (program directors Jon Tyler and David Bubna-Litic) with some 160 Year 11 and 12 students, drawn from 26 high schools in Western Sydney. Following an interview given by Norman Owens on Radio National, an inquiry was received from Murdoch University in Western Australia.


ABW conceived mid 1992

ABW was conceived in mid 1992 in response to a question posed at a meeting of the executive of the Parramatta Chamber of Commerce. The question was, "How can we, the business community help young people gain a better appreciation of business?" Norman Owens, a member of the executive and also a local businessman said, "Why don't we have them run a model business?" That remark led to the launching of the ABW Enterprise Education program by Norman and his wife Margaret, a local high school teacher.