What is BBK Network?
The journey started in 2018 when Build a Biz Kids was co-founded by Leah Coss and Braden Ricketts. Build a Biz Kids is a Vancouver-based organization that provides youth of all backgrounds with access to practical education and hands-on learning experiences, preparing them for a continuously evolving world. The Company mission is to prepare a new generation of forward-thinking youth to tackle whatever challenges the future may hold. Through their practical education programs, Build a Biz Kids encourages the application and development of foundational soft skills that will remain relevant for a lifetime, such as critical thinking, resiliency, decision-making, leadership, adaptability, self awareness, communication, and collaboration.
The year 2020 was definitely one for the books, and for Build a Biz Kids, 2020 was an extraordinary year of learning and adapting. Educational institutions around the world have been facing the largest disruption in history as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Build a Biz Kids responded to this shift by introducing the BBK Network in April 2020, allowing the non-profit organization to offer hands-on learning in the hands-off COVID environment.
BBK Network is an online learning platform operating under the same guiding principles as Build a Biz Kids. Unlike its non-profit sister brand, BBK Network is a benefit corporation social enterprise. A social enterprise aims to achieve social, cultural, community, and/or environmental outcomes through their operations. The company mission is at the core of all business activities and income generation plays an important part in accomplishing their practical education goals with heightened standards of purpose, accountability, and transparency.
BBK Network develops students’ future-ready skills online through their Innovators Academy programs, one-day sprints, and special events. Students gain incredible perspective through the Innovators Academy by connecting with other students from all across North America, safely and online, to collaborate on projects that matter in their communities and the world. Through these projects, children acquire the technical skills necessary to understand complex concepts and solve real-world problems.
BBK Network Initiatives
In addition to the practical educational goals of the Company, Build a Biz Kids and BBK Network are seeking to alleviate and eventually eliminate the societal challenge that is the “digital divide” – the gap between those who have access to computers and the internet and those who do not. The digital divide has been increasing alongside the technological evolution, and the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic has caused it to be exacerbated. This is because educational institutions, like many other industries, were forced to go completely virtual, leaving behind anyone without access to adequate technology and high-speed internet.
The efforts of Build a Biz Kids and BBK Network toward the reduction of the digital divide are being done by spreading awareness on social media, facilitating dialogues, and educating on the many ways in which people can get involved and contribute. The Company collects funds to purchase computers for donation, in addition to upcycling used computers that have been donated by organizations. Also, for each class of BBK Network students, one laptop is donated to a family in need, and one student in a BBK program receives subsidized tuition.
It is through the passion of the community, partners, and growing team that BBK Network was successfully launched and has seen such incredible results in such a short amount of time. BBK Network continues to pursue their mission and vision, advocating for change and progressing in accordance with shifting environmental conditions and adversity, just as they encourage their students to do through their practical education programs and hands-on learning curriculums.