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Sales and profits all in a day's work at Montgomery middle school
The spirit of entrepreneurship — and Christmas shopping — was alive and well at Montgomery middle school last Friday, where a mini-mall was set up in the gym so students could market and sell their own products.
Approximately 120 students participated in the Dec. 14 Young Entrepreneur Fair, which was sponsored in part by Envision Financial.
Teacher Gavin Hanna said students were encouraged to develop a product, write a business plan that included marketing, sales and profit analysis; they then they had to make the product and advertise it.
Products were as individual and creative as the students, and included jewelry, nail art, bubble bath, shelves for lockers, designs for iPod and iPhone cases, Christmas ornaments, key chains and fridge magnets, among many other things.
Start-up costs were generally covered by a loan from parents, which the students paid back after tallying up the money at the end of the day. Hanna's students also contributed 10% of their profits toward the SPCA.
Students The Tri-City News interviewed said they learned a lot from the enterprise.
Devon Hutchinson said sales of his beaded lizard key chains improved when he started talking to customers. "I was trying to draw people in instead of just waiting for them," he said. In front of his display was a terrarium with plants and some of his beaded lizards.
Some students showed videos on iPads or on an overhead screen to advertise their products; some drew in customers with a good spiel while others conducted demonstrations. Posters were also placed on students' lockers advertising the items.
Mani Ebrahimi, who works at the Sunwood Square branch of Envision Financial, said he was pleased to support the project and talk to students about the importance of business fundamentals.
And he came away pleasantly surprised at the creativity and entrepreneurship of students, saying, "I'm just amazed at their knowledge."