If success is defined as getting an investment on your return, the Entrepreneurship 30 class at the Weyburn Comprehensive School is successful on many fronts. Each of the 25 classmates fronted $20 for startup costs and they have all made the money back, plus some, but they’ve also gained valuable skills and experiences.
The class started from scratch, learning about other businesses, mission statements, values, industry norms and more. The class held elections for the various positions on their business’s board. Then, the class had to decide what their product or service would be.
The students scoured do-it-yourself websites, pinterest and more looking for the perfect product. From the get-go, the class was determined to sell an eco-friendly product, but choosing one was not so simple.
“It took a while because there were 25 different ideas,” said teacher Margot Arnold. The narrowed the ideas down to three through a lengthy process of elimination and market research and then voted on the top three, with individual glasses made from recycled wine and beer bottles coming out on top.
The class named their business “Kick Glass” in reference to the recycled glass products they make and took off. Along the way they have learned to create a business plan, a mission statement, create and track various financial documents, customer service, public speaking, organization skills, how to prioritize, conflict resolution, negotiating, problem solving, team building, management and more.
“I’m really proud of what they’ve accomplished so far,” said Arnold. “They’re a good example that hard work pays off.”
The class attended a Junior Achievers event in Regina with 10 other classes in early April with business leaders in attendance to ask questions about the students business plan and how they hope to achieve success.
Arnold said it was a neat experience, a bit like “Dragon’s Den”. The speaker was a former Alberta premier, Ed Stelmach.
Arnold also hopes to take at least a few of her students to the Junior Achiever Awards in Saskatoon on Wednesday, May 28 with the hopes that they might win some awards. They will have to present their board meeting minutes, their business plan and the shareholders report.
The students are still taking orders for the personalized glasses, vases and candle holders and will until Monday, May 19, as long as they don’t get flooded with orders. Each item made from a wine bottle costs $10 and items made from beer bottles cost $5 each. They can have personalized phrases or quotes etched into the glasses. To place an order, fax your order to the school, call president Nick Travis or visit the website jagrad14.wix.com/kick-glass-ja. Ten per cent of the profits will be donated to the Weyburn and District Hospital Foundation.