Inspired By Teen Business Owners, New Entrepreneurship Club for Grades 5-8 Begins Tuesday

By Trina Runner on September 11, 2017 via Connect-Bridgeport.com

The United States has nearly 30,000 entrepreneurs, many of whom are under the age of twenty.  Some inherited a business, some wanted the flexibility of being their own boss, some saw unique opportunities, and some are simply seeking a way to make ends meet in a challenging economy.  Compared to teens who grew up in the 70s and 80s, today’s youth prefer using their creativity to earn money and, with the resources available to them, they are making a real difference in the marketplace.
 
After interviewing several local entrepreneurs, BHS DECA members found that the majority of them knew they wanted to own a business early on.  The student organization decided to create an Entrepreneurship Club for students in grades 5-8 in order to give young people the tools with which to start businesses early.
 
“After we had the state winner for the High School Business Plan Competition last year, we knew we wanted to help younger students to explore entrepreneurial opportunities and to work with them to provide resources to make their business dreams come true,” said BHS DECA President Jeffrey Chalfant.
 
After the flooding last year, the BHS DECA students spent many weekends creating a store in Richwood, West Virginia, teaming with area business leaders and creating a business plan.  The experience made quite an impression on the teens, who now want to encourage others to start businesses.
 
“We have gone through the challenges and rewards of opening our own store last year and now we want to give others the same chance.  We will be partnering with local entrepreneurs, some of whom started their businesses as teens, and making sure we explain the process of business ownership to those that attend,” said Chalfant.  “We plan to actually make some products, assess characteristics that are common among entrepreneurs, and apply the concepts we learn in DECA to make a small marketplace with the students.”
 
The first meeting of the Entrepreneurship Club will be on Tuesday, September 12 from 3:00p.m. to 4:00p.m. in the BHS Cafeteria.  Flyers were sent home to all students in grades 5-8 and will need to be returned at the first meeting.  The club will meet twice a month and students can join at any time.  A fee of $5 will be charged for each meeting in order to cover supplies for the club.
 
“Students who participate will be able to put the experience on their resumes, apply for entrepreneurial scholarships, and shadow local business professionals in order to fully understand the process of ownership,” said Chalfant.  “We know how creative students can be and they may see an opportunity that is being missed in the marketplace.  We want to help them make it a reality.”
 
Additional information is available at trinarunner@gmail.com.


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