Recently, fifth graders at Carrollwood Day School organized an event showcasing their entrepreneurial skills. As part of their unit focusing on business and economics, students had the unique opportunity to become Young Entrepreneurs! After learning about all aspects of operating a business, students collaborate with their colleagues to create their own companies.
They first determined what type of business they would like to create: service-based or products. Then, they collaborate with their colleagues to see what interests they share. Students then determine what kind of company they would like to create. Prior to developing the business, they create a survey to analyze their business market. For these enterprising fifth graders, their business market is comprised of elementary students in grades one through four. Once the survey has been conducted and the results tallied, these entrepreneurs use the results of their surveys to begin developing their companies.
While working with their colleagues, they must create a name for their company and develop a mission statement. Students must also work with their partners to create a commercial advertising their business that will be presented to the rest of the elementary student body. With a budget of eighty dollars, they purchase all business-related items with the goal of serving 250 customers.
This unit culminates with what has come to be known as Young Entrepreneurs’ Day at Carrollwood Day School. (Students lovingly refer to it as YED Day!) All elementary students are invited to purchase tickets to be used on Young Entrepreneurs’ Day. Teachers sign their classes up for thirty-minute time slots to visit the fifth-grade businesses and spend their tickets. It is a fun-filled day providing students with real-life experience in the business world.
The students' creativity and innovation were on full display, as they came up with a wide range of ideas, from handmade crafts to homemade fragrances. They then set up shop and put their marketing skills to the test, trying to attract CDS first through fourth graders and convince them to purchase their products.
The event was a huge success, with many students making impressive sales. At the close of Young Entrepreneurs’ Day, the fifth-grade students calculate whether their business earned a profit or experienced a loss. Fifth graders use the money earned from this valuable learning experience to fund the action piece of their Exhibition. The Exhibition is a unit that takes place each year and is completely student-initiated and student-driven. But more than just making money, the event was an opportunity for the students to learn important skills that will serve them well in the future.
By taking on the challenge of creating and running their own businesses, the students developed critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and a strong sense of independence and initiative. They learned how to communicate effectively with customers, market their products, and manage their finances.
Overall, the event was a valuable learning experience for the fifth graders at Carrollwood Day School, and a testament to the importance of fostering entrepreneurship and innovation in young people.
Thank you to all the fifth-grade teachers for facilitating this day and the fifth-graders for their hard work and entrepreneurialism.