Young Entrepreneurs: BV students showcase business plans
The next generation of business leaders has already begun brainstorming ideas for future products.
Berryville Middle School held its first Youth Entrepreneurship Showcase (YES) on Wednesday in the cafeteria. Seventh-grade and eighth-grade gifted and talented (GT) students set up booths displaying both their products and their business plans.
According to ARCapital.com, the Youth Entrepreneurship Showcase for Arkansas Competition was launched by Arkansas Capital to give young Arkansans a chance to find out what entrepreneurs go through when starting a business.
GT teacher Delene McCoy said her students grouped up into companies and had 10 different product ideas on display at Berryville’s YES expo. The students are tasked with identifying a problem in the marketplace, she said, and coming up with a solution that could make money. They then make a written business plan, she said.
“All of these kids have written business plans that they submitted to Arkansas Capital,” McCoy said, “and those are being judged right now. We’ll know Friday if any of those business plans have won.”
McCoy said Arkansas Capital picks the top 25 scoring teams in the state to come to Park Plaza in Little Rock for YES for Arkansas Expo Day, where they have a chance to market and sell their products to mall patrons. According to ARCapital.com, a new team of judges will visit each booth to score them on their retail space, their marketing pieces and innovation.
“This is our first opportunity to do this,” McCoy said. “I had inquired about the YES program with some other teachers who were doing it in the area. The hard part for the students was writing the business plan. It was pretty detailed, and they had to project for a month of expenses and revenue and had to actually create the product.”
Berryville’s GT student had several unique ideas on display at the YES expo.
Eden Wilson, Evelyn Pensamiento, Alyssa Lee and Kirklyn Powell made a product line called “Meaningful Mugs and Joyous Jars,” which featured mugs with candles inside and meaningful sayings on the outside.
“There are all sorts of different scents that are made with essential oils,” Wilson said, “and we made these ourselves. Some of them are specialized for mothers and fathers, and some are just mugs. Our project was to come up with a product that’s new and that no one has thought of yet, so we came up with this.”
Isabella Knapik said she used her grandmother’s recipe book for her business, “Brownies 365.”
“I named it ‘Brownies 365’ for the 365 days in a year,” she said. “My grandmother had a recipe book and used to make me brownies, and she left me the recipe book when she passed away. I decided to do brownies because I loved how she made them, and I added a few of my own ingredients, which are a secret. Then ‘Brownies 365’ was born.”
Emma Hall, Whitney Taylor and Alyssa Reed designed the “No Slip Clip” for their unique product idea. Taylor said the clip is meant to keep students’ bags from falling off their chairs in the middle of class.
“Because we’ve all been through it,” she said. “You put your bag on your chair, sit down and then you hear a ‘thud,’ and it’s on the ground. With this clip, you put it on the outside of the sleeve, and it holds it in place.”
Taylor said they are still working on their prototype of the No Slip Clip.
Taryn Ballard, Cole Price and Tayvyn Putman came up with a homemade mosquito spray called “Skeeto Defeato.”
“We can’t tell you the mixture, but we can tell you what’s in it,” Ballard said. “Each bottle has either lemon, essential oils or juniper, which smells a lot like cedar. They also have basil and just a drop of Dawn dish soap to help mix the oils.”
McCoy said her classes will find out this Friday, Dec. 15, if any of their businesses will be moving on to the Arkansas Expo Day, where they will have the chance to receive cash prizes, a trophy for their school, medals and, of course, bragging rights.