Business School for Estes Elementary
Business School for Estes Elementary
Posted on 06/14/2018
Fourth-graders at Estes Elementary display their hard-earned "cash" as part of their class's Entrepreneur unit.By: Stacia Harris, Communications Dept.

William W. Estes Elementary fourth-grade teacher Ms. Donalyn Small spent this semester teaching her students about successfully opening and running a small business. It’s part of their Entrepreneur unit.

“Teaching young students about entrepreneurship is a valuable tool because so many of our kids will have the opportunity to start their own business,” said Small. “Today’s young adults are among the most educated, culturally aware and tech savvy which could potentially make them very well suited for entrepreneurship,” she said.

Ms. Small says the students were challenged to generate and evaluate innovative business ideas based on the market demands from the K-4 students at Estes. They had to apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills when choosing a product or service and then set prices to attract customers while keeping production costs down. Students had to create a business plan and learn how to calculate profit and loss. Additionally, students learned about the importance of company slogans, logos, and a company name.

The culmination of the unit was a two-day fair where students could sell their goods and services to fellow students, teachers, and parents. For these young business owners, they saw first-hand how business decisions can impact profit and investments.

“There were many eye-opening moments for my students during this process,” said Small. “While the overall profits for the fair were substantial, not all businesses thrived. Some didn’t attract customers as they hoped. Some had disagreements with partners. Some businesses had too many start-up costs and spent too many hours in production to see any real profit. These students learned a valuable lesson through the experience and will likely make different choices next time. Conversely, the students who ran successful businesses reflected on their choices and had a chance through their success, to develop new ideas that might make things work even better next time,” she said.

After paying back loans and initial start-up costs, student entrepreneurs made a total profit of $1600. They researched many charities and chose to split up the profit evenly among Make-A-Wish Central & Western North Carolina, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, and Estes Elementary.
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