Students show off their business acumen in second annual L&A KidPreneur fair

Selby Public School students Josh McNamee and Ollie Dupuis created the All Season Sled Racer at the L&A County KidPreneur Fair. Photo by Adam Prudhomme.

Adam Prudhomme

Future innovators of business displayed their money-making ideas to a panel of local judges at the Strathcona Paper Centre last Tuesday as part of Lennox and Addington County’s KidPreneur Fair.

Over 150 students in Grades 6, 7 and 8 from elementary schools across the county set up booths to display their entrepreneurial ideas. The students had been tasked with coming up with their own business models and then to research things such as production cost and profit margins.

“We’re trying to ignite that entrepreneurial spirit,” said Stephen Paul, director of community and development services with L&A County. Prior to the fair members of L&A County’s economic development department dropped by the schools to talk entrepreneurship. “We really want students to take that big idea that might be in their head and demonstrate to them that you could turn this into a business. It could be a hobby, it could be a summer job.”

While some may choose to pursue their creation as an actual business, the main goal of the program was to get students to exercise their creativity.

“It’s a way of thinking is what we want” said Paul. “We want the students to be creative and take those ideas in their head and go for it.”

There was no shortage of variation in the ideas, such as the pitch put together by Selby Public School’s Josh McNamee, Grade 6, and Ollie Dupuis, Grade 5. They teamed together to create the All Season Sled Racer-a modified GT Snow Racer that could be used in all conditions.

“It’s a GT with wheels,” explained Dupuis. “We took the ski off and added wheels, so you can ride it in the winter and summer.”

“Our target market is kids six to 14,” added McNamee. “You can buy it straight up from us or you can bring your GT and we can customize it for you.”

As part of the project they did the math to determine they would profit $460 a month if they sold 10 sleds. That was after factoring in the cost of buying the sleds and wheels.

Alexa Tyner and Ashlyn Baker of Selby Public School launched the 07s home baked cookie business. Photo by Adam Prudhomme.

Classmates Alexa Tyner and Ashlyn Baker, both Grade 6s from Selby, used their baking skills to create a home baked cookie business.

“We’re the ‘07s and we want to sell cookies and get an idea of what we need to do (to run a business),” said Baker.

“We learned our monthly expenses and profit and how much we want our cookies to cost,” added Tyner.

Their research included exploring the market, ways to market through social media, start up costs and expected profits. Prior to launch they conducted polls among their peers to determine how much they’d be willing to pay for a cookie and which flavours they’d prefer.

All told there were 100 projects on display. Judging was done by volunteers from the community who walked through the exhibits and asked a few questions to the students to learn a bit about their business idea.

This marked the second time the county had hosted the event.

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