- Hillside Middle School
Young Entrepreneur's Day competition returns on March 7 for PCSD students
January 6, 2020
In a 1932 Harper’s Monthly magazine, inventor Thomas Edison was famously quoted as saying, “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration”.
For any inventor or entrepreneur, no matter the age, this statement is still ringing true, 88 years later.
To help foster that sense of innovation and hard work in students, the Parma City School District Workforce Development program will hold the second annual Young Entrepreneur’s Day on March 7 at Normandy High School for PCSD students in grades 3-6.
This event and competition offers students not only the opportunity to create and invent a product or service, but learn how to design, budget and market that product to consumers.
Young Entrepreneur’s Day is open to only PCSD students and offers cash and prizes to winners in two different age groups. The event is sponsored by John Carroll University’s entrepreneurship program.
“We really want to expose kids to entrepreneurship,” Chuck Caldwell, Administrative Specialist for Workforce Development explained. “They say that 40 percent of kids are going to be contract workers when they get into the workforce in the future. This is developing that entrepreneurship spirit, going out and creating your own business. It’s coming up with something that you’re passionate about and turning it into a business.”
Interested students are required to sign up online at www.pcsdconnects.org by February 14. After a successful registration, these young business tycoons can download a workbook and curriculum to help cultivate their idea and prepare it for competition.
A successful young entrepreneur can not only fully explain their product or service, but the important financial and marketing strategy behind it.
“There’s an online curriculum that they work through to create their tri-fold boards,” Caldwell added. “They develop a business name, a logo, a slogan and they do a marketing plan, a budgeting plan and an overall business plan.”
After placing all of that information on a district-provided tri-fold board, students must be able to successfully explain and answer questions about their business to a team of judges. The judges are comprised of local business leaders and entrepreneurs, including from the Parma Area Chamber of Commerce and from local sponsors.
Students can win prizes in two different divisions, third and fourth grade and fifth and sixth grade. Prizes range from $250 to $100, along with $50 prizes for honorable mentions.
“Last year we also had $50 mentions for ‘Best Board’, ‘Best Presenter’ and ‘Best Idea’ just to name a few,” Caldwell said. “So, we had five other types of awards to give away, too.”
Last year, 42 students signed up for Young Entrepreneur’s Day. This year, Caldwell hopes the number will be up over 75 students.
“Honestly, I was super impressed with the ideas that these kids came up with last year,” Caldwell expressed. “They blew my mind for third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders with some of their ideas, and how in-depth they were. I was totally impressed with how good of speakers they were, too…some of the kids were dressed up, created t-shirts with their business. It was very high-level thinking and way exceeded my expectations.”
Registration and more information are available on the website at www.pcsdconnects.org. Students who are interested must sign up by mid-February. You can also contact Chuck Caldwell by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHOTO CAPTION: Hillside students Lily and Lauren were winners at last year’s Young Entrepreneur’s Day held at Normandy High School on April 6. Their business idea, “Cutie Clips” won first place in the 5th/6th grade division at the competition.