Students at Annunciation School took part in a school project that was both profitable and charitable.
The students participated in business fair in the school’s basement on Oct. 24. They sold keychains, lip balms, homemade soap, games, art work and much more to students and parents throughout the afternoon.
The fair was the final project in the young entrepreneurs program, a six-week course designed to teach young students basic business concepts and show them how much fun making their own money can be.
“The response has been really good. I think the kids were quite shocked at how well their products are selling,” said Rose Ciotoli, a Grade 7 teacher at Annunciation who organized and taught the program. “We’ve had multiple kids sell out of their products and overall they’ve just been generally happy, enthused and excited about what they can do.”
Ciotoli said the students spent six weeks developing their product, writing a business plan and figuring out how much it would cost to make, market and sell their products. If the students didn’t have enough money, they would have to raise the funds (usually a small loan from their parents).
The students also selected a charity to donate 10 per cent of their gross sales. At the end of the fair, the students kept the profits they made after factoring in basic costs, paying back their loans and their charitable donations.
“So far, it’s felt like I’ve had my own miniature business,” said Masoom Johal, who was selling homemade bookmarks at her booth. “I felt like I was at Safeway selling produce.”
Across the room from Johal’s table was Josh Joubert, who drew inspiration from his musical talents to sell guitar picks personalized with the buyer’s initials.
“I’m turning my hobby into money and if I don’t sell out, I can just use them,” he said.
Ciotoli said she plans to offer the program again next year.
“I think it’s important to get kids thinking about the role they can have in our town and our city,” she said. “This gets them thinking about our local businesses that are struggling a little bit in our downtown core, and it gives them some confidence in their skill and what they can do.”