Community Papers

Young entrepreneurs sell their wares at school

Christmas came early for 60 students at Pinecrest Elementary School Friday morning.

After nearly two months of brainstorming, spending money, marketing and advertising, the group of Grade 4 and 5 students was ready to unveil and sell its products to the world. Well, maybe not the whole world but the entire school community was there.

“They were so excited,” said teacher Tina Kuschel, who’s Grade 4/5 split class took part in the school’s Young Entrepreneurs Showcase. “It was like Christmas today.

“The kids love it. They learn so much – ‘how am I going to make money?’ Customer service skills; marketing by making posters and sending them out.”

Pinecrest Principal Don Ottosen said the kids each had to write a business plan explaining their product and how much of a profit they expected to make after the expense of making their product and paying back a loan each student needed to secure from either a parent, teacher, or their piggy bank. Ten per cent of everything each student made would go to a charity of the student’s choice.

“They have a money plan so they’re learning math and they’re learning to be a good salesperson and business operator,” Ottosen said.

“It’s all about goal setting.”

And the products the students had up for sale also required some creativity on the part of the kids.

At one table, a couple of students were selling wallets made of different coloured duct tape – a popular item among young kids, according to Ottosen.

Another girl had made her own lip balm while other students were selling soap, dog treats, stress balls made from balloons, clay magnets and home-made Christmas crackers for the dining room table.

Vice-Principal and Grade 5 teacher Lorill Vining said depending on the product, a student’s profit can range from $5 all the way up to $100. When she was teaching on Quadra Island last year, students who participated in an Entrepreneur Fair there averaged a $20 profit.

For Pinecrest this is the sixth year students have participated in their own business fair, and it’s always a hit.

“It’s hands-on learning and they really love it,” Kuschel said.

“A lot of kids can be really creative with their products. Some are made at home and others are made at school.”

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