Nothing will stop Big White Community School’s (BWCS) young entrepreneurs from innovating and showing the world what they’ve got.
This year’s Young Entrepreneurs Show is going virtual in lieu of the in-person one-day marketplace that usually happens up at the ski resort. Fortunately however, students are still getting traction on their creations.
BWCS head teacher Patrick Oliveira said the market usually launches around the Family Day weekend, which means the ski hill would be filled with locals and visitors alike.
He said the rush of selling in-person after working on a business idea and the product for most of the school year is what gets the students excited, but this year, that has taken on a different look.
Oliveira said the project started out as a lesson on how to put together a business plan but as years went on, staff decided to expand on it.
“So what we started doing is we started developing a business plan that kids could follow, and we touch on things like budgeting and profit,” he said.
“This way, it gets kids to be creative and imaginative and they get to build something like a prototype, they get to sell things and make money. It’s a real-world project that shows kids that if you have an idea and you stick with it, you can actually do something even at a young age.”
Oliveira added that at the beginning of the school year when work on the project starts, they help the students put together a list of goals. He said kids’ goals range from wanting to make money to simply wanting to work on a meaningful project to spend time with their parents. In all, he said it’s a holistic way of learning.
Some of the students’ stores sell baked goods, art, jewelry, custom-designed shirts, and even services like snowboard and ski waxing.
“Out of this whole COVID experience, this is the one thing that has brought this tiny school back to normal.”
“We’re a school of 36 students and having the community be part of your school world is huge, so we were lacking that this year but this project brought us together,” he said.
Because they weren’t able to hold their one-day selling spree at the ski hill, the school decided to put together a website so students can showcase their products in one place, as well as be able to reach people who they may otherwise not be able to reach if they only sell products at the resort.
“This has been amazing because we’ve even gotten grandparents and family members from all over the world that are checking it out,” Oliveira said.
The virtual market will close on March 17. To see the shops and the products the students offer, visit the BWCS young entrepreneurs’ site.