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Young Entrepreneur's Day competition returns on March 7 for PCSD students

Young Entrepreneur's Day winners from 2019 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 ‬‭ ‬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 ‬‭. ‬Students who are interested must sign up by mid-February‭. ‬You can also contact Chuck Caldwell by email at‭‭.‬


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.‬