David Tuan Bui
Thomas A. Stewart Middle School (TASS) had 28 students, and they made a profit by starting and selling a business by hosting a shareholders’ meeting as part of their Friday afternoon curriculum.
Students are tasked with becoming entrepreneurs by starting and managing a business appointed by TASSS business teacher Blaine White throughout the semester. Junior Achievement of Northern and Eastern Ontario (JA-NEO) collaborated with the program by providing weekly advice with guest speakers.
“At the beginning of the term we teach students to plan a business and then they start their own business,” said White. “They are responsible for all production, all marketing, all sales and all finances.”
“Young people will have the opportunity to learn and experience skilled trade and entrepreneurship.y “Building, managing and liquidating a business,” said John McNutt, JA-NEO president and CEO. “All with the guidance and support of experts in our community.”
The students founded the company ‘Encompase Eco’, which creates environmentally friendly fire starters that can be purchased at Kawartha Buttertart Factory & Bakery.
The students held a final shareholders’ meeting to announce all earnings and share prices. According to White, they made more than 381 percent returns by selling the business.
“It’s great for me to set the bar and watch the students keep up,” he explained. “I couldn’t be happier that they’ve gone and learned all these really cool skills that they’re going to apply in their own lives and maybe even start their own business in our community, but I’m also proud of them as people. has improved in the last five months.”
According to Aiden Budd, a grade 10 student who served as the company’s vice president of production, students were excited to get hands-on training instead of just learning through a textbook.
“I’ve never experienced anything like this, textbooks are so boring, but now I’ve had the opportunity to do something like this, it’s a really great feeling,” she exclaimed.
During the semester, students had to bid and campaign for roles within the company before they were hired. Students had to set up their own stakeholder meetings with media and public speaking, presentation and report. The whole process had its ups and downs, but it suddenly became an unforgettable experience for the students.
“I know a lot of people are nervous coming here, but I actually had a lot of fun, I’m proud of myself and my team for doing a great job. Mr. White, I thanked him so much for having the opportunity to run this business because there aren’t many kids who get the opportunity to do things like this.
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