In the Grade 11 entrepreneurship class, students spend the year envisioning and developing a small business idea and venture plan based on their strengths and passions. Though the components of this venture plan are standard, students have the opportunity to fully personalize their plans by pursuing or creating a market to which they feel connected. Because students work within current resource and skill endowments, the project becomes real and immediate and challenges students to identify their strengths and weaknesses as well as their passions that will represent viable business ideas.Over the course of this project students will:
- Consider their entrepreneurial skills and strengths
- Select and research an industry of interest
- Determine a form of business ownership
- Define a target market
- Develop a marketing plan
- Consider sources of financing and create budgets and financial projections
- Work to create a personalized brand and company image that reflects their core beliefs
Students tend to find this project rewarding as it relates to real life and offers many opportunities for creativity. This year, some business ideas include:
- Insane IT: An online tech business, building custom computers for gamers.
- Demeter Foods: A food truck, servicing the central business district with healthy and organic snacks.
- Riders’ Bikes: A custom-build bike shop servicing downhill riders
- Kids in the Kitchen: A business teaching young people the art of cooking at birthday parties or in a camp setting.
Some students are creating sole proprietorships, some have developed partnerships with classmates and some have learned how to incorporate their business after considering legal implications and barriers.
Through this project, students not only learn a number of key business concepts, they also learn a great deal about themselves as they are forced to consider their entrepreneurial potential and overall interest in small business ownership. Without doubt, it is both a school project and, more importantly, an opportunity for personal learning and experiment.