ENTREPRENEURSHIP ECOSYSTEM STORIES
Beaumont’s Business Scholars Program
Taking initiative, thinking creatively, and recognizing business opportunities are just a few of the skills that the students are developing through Beaumont’s Business Scholars Program. The girls are gaining hands-on, real-world experiences through the school’s student run Smoothie Shack in addition to creating and developing their own businesses. By working together, they are learning to think analytically, solve any problem that arises, and persist through failures with the courage and excitement to try again.
We spoke with Tara Limestoll, one of the club moderators, about the program and the incredible impact it is having on the students.
Would you tell us a little bit about Beaumont’s Business Scholars Program and your involvement?
Beaumont’s Business Scholars Program instills an entrepreneurial mindset in students through participation in a variety of real-world competitions and experiences exposing them to all facets of business, from initial concept building to entering the market.
We work closely with the Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum which provides excellent field trips and workshops to ensure students are getting exposed to ideas and experiences within the community and globally.
As club moderators (Tara Limestoll & Morgan Jochum), we feel a duty to find opportunities to enhance interested students, assist and encourage student entrepreneurs in business start-ups, and of course educate them with a tool set to try new things and/or expand their business.
What is the Smoothie Shack and what value does it bring to the students?
The Smoothie Shack is a student-run business after school. They make fresh smoothies in a variety of flavors that change periodically. This business is quite an undertaking. Student responsibilities are to keep a stock of supplies (with food products, this can be tricky), ensure staffing during business hours, and manage funds to ensure a profit instead of losing money. To drum up business, students must also be creative with advertising and promoting the Smoothie Shack. With responsibilities lying solely upon the students, this gives them a great sense of accomplishment of making this small-scale business work.
Students develop peer leadership, organizational, creative problem solving and communication skills through their involvement in the Smoothie Shack. These are transferable skills that add value to our students’ experience in Beaumont’s Business Scholars program.
What impact have you seen with students and in the community through the Business Scholars Program?
Students who participate in Beaumont’s Business Scholars program are risk takers, who are willing to transform an idea into a small business. From gourmet cupcakes to jewelry to decals for laptops, our students take advantage of opportunities to take their ideas to the next level.
Beaumont Market is a week-long event that allows students to sell their products during lunch blocks to our school community. Many of our students also participate in local markets where they have the opportunity to sell their products to the greater community. Our girls also develop a deeper appreciation for supporting local businesses because of their own experience of selling their products.
Students in the program are not afraid to take a good idea and turn it into something. It’s unbelievable to see the creativity and talent of these students outside of the classroom.
What do you enjoy the most about working with students and other business educators?
Collaboration is my favorite part! Working as a team with others has a way of enhancing everyone. In addition, providing a safe space for the girls to be encouraged to take risks, develop valuable skills, and discover their passions is also an exciting part of being a moderator.
Why do you think instilling an entrepreneurial mindset in students is so important?
The world we live in today is very different than the world ten years ago, and the future will be very different from what we know at this moment. Technology is constantly evolving along with types of jobs and needs in society. The entrepreneurial mindset instills the value of creative problem solving, preparing students to navigate this changing world and become leaders in innovation.
What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs just starting out?
Take a chance! If you have an idea you are excited about, make a plan and try. Taking the first step to try something new is scary, but the only way to learn is by trying and giving it your best effort. Take your time to develop your idea, create a plan, and take the first step! Even if your plan fails, take time to reflect, learn from your experience, and try again!
What are you looking forward to the most this school year?
As we begin a new school year, we look forward to building a community with our group of young women wanting to develop entrepreneurial mindsets. Throughout the year, we look forward to watching each of our students take risks to develop their business ideas, step into leadership roles to run our Smoothie Shack, and participate in business competitions.