Did you know... Statistics reveal only 1% of students are entrepreneurs. In the EntrepreneurShip Investigation (ESI) pilot program in Phillipsburg, we had 10% of the students develop a business plan and product to sell!
A public/private partnership between Phillipsburg Middle School, Discover Phillipsburg Main Street and the Entrepreneurial Center (E-Center) in Phillipsburg introduced entrepreneurship to fifty-one eight grade students this semester.
The nationally recognized EntrepreneurShip Investigation (ESI) curriculum was developed through the University of Nebraska, in Lincoln. This curriculum has been taught by Mrs. Jackie Abell and Mr. Jim Smith middle school health instructors. It is an exciting, interactive, and comprehensive curriculum project designed for youth. These instructors began teaching this curriculum in January with an investigation into the businesses and business owners in our own community. Included in this portion of the class were local business owners who went into the classroom to share their own experiences about being entrepreneurs.
After learning about our local small businesses, the students then had the chance to investigate themselves. Learning about their talents, interests and hobbies; these students were then able to recognize what entrepreneurial skills they already possessed.
Additional class work included investigating the risks of small businesses, looking at the possibilities of what the students wanted to be when they grow up, and our changing community and world. “I haven’t done anything like this before. I like it because it’s unique.” stated Temarian Snell who is developing the business JewelTastic.
After looking at the community and themselves, students then investigated numerous topics surrounding entrepreneurship. They learned the value of building a good reputation, dressing like a pro, the value of time and getting control of your time as well as selling your big idea.
Matt Mahathey the owner of Outstanding Origami stated, “I think it is neat that we started this. This peaked my interest. At first, the assignments really made me mad. They were hard. It makes me think more than science and I hate science.”
After completion of book two, it was decision time for these students. Did they see themselves as entrepreneurs and were they ready to make the commitment, take the risk to see if they could succeed as a youth entrepreneur?
Statistics show on the average 1% of all youth are entrepreneurs. Phillipsburg once again showed that our students are above average. Six of the students committed to developing their business, showcasing it and submitting a business plan. The businesses are as follows:
Outstanding Origami: Everything folds into place is being developed by Matt Mahathey. Christina’s Tasty Temptations: There’s no place like home……made cookies; owner Christina Wente. JewelTastic: Accessories that make you look fantastic; by designer Temarian Snell and Cuties’ Cupcakes: Almost too cute to eat; baked by Alex Babcock and Chelsea Lumpkin.
On May 9, 2012 these budding entrepreneurs were guests on the Tadpole and KKAN/KQMA radio station in Phillipsburg. Sharing in their own words, what they have experienced this semester through the ESI course. On Thursday May 10th in downtown Phillipsburg these students showcased their businesses. All four businesses sold out of product after an hour and a half of sales.
This partnership has been partially funded by the Dane G. Hansen Foundation through the E-Center, Discover Phillipsburg Main Street and the Foundation for Rural Services.