This spring, a number of students in the economics classes at turned their attention to a different kind of test.
Those students created imaginary businesses and detailed business plans for the Scholarship of Entrepreneurial Engagement, a local program that is run through Ashland University and is designed to inspire students to create the future, program director John Klipfell said.
Klipfell began the program a few years ago, and it has since expanded to include more than 20 local high schools. Brecksville-Broadview Heights has the largest group participating, Klipfell said, at least in part because the program is incorporated into many of the economics classes at the high school.
Earlier this spring, students gathered into small groups in one of Dathan Cole’s economics classes to discuss their business plans with local community members. The individuals had volunteered their time to listen to the students’ plans and give them feedback.
These plans had to be detailed – students had to be able to explain how much their products would cost, who the audience was, how to market it, even, for the more technologically based plans, how the products would work.
The ideas vary widely—in an email, Cole said that some of the winning entries included “Canary Colours,” a plan for a paint that would change color to respond to toxins in the air and “Derbee.com,” website for digital textbook rentals.
Cole said the students created a rough draft of their plans before this session; after the input, the plans were revised and graded.
Then, the best ones were submitted to the Scholarship of Entrepreneurial Engagement competition. The Brecksville-Broadview Heights’ submissions are first judged against one another. The submissions were split into three groups to be judged, and the top three projects in each grouping will receive a monetary prize, Klipfell said in an email. The top project in each group will now go on to the regional competition, where winners will receive scholarships.
According to an email from Klipfell, the following projects from Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School were the first place winners in each group:
- "Canary Colours," by Suji Modugula, Aaron Markowitz and Veronica Thompson
- "Derbee.com" by Malcolm Cole, Matt Dietrich and Paul Williams
- "From Scratch Bakery," by Kali Matko and Jacklyn Lurz