Jefferson Junior High students present company ideas at Business Designers 4 Good program

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Aspiring entrepreneurs at Jefferson Junior High School pitched their company ideas to parents and judges at Thursday’s Business Designers 4 Good presentation.

What is Business Designers 4 Good?

“Business Designers for Good is a really innovative program to empower our middle school students with the skills they’re going to need as they go into high school and beyond. So it really focuses in on building up core skill sets around four key pillars, which are entrepreneurship, social responsibility, emotional intelligence, and leadership,” said Marion Ruthig, Executive Director of the Inside Out Club.

The school partners with the Inside Out Club for the seven-week program. Students who sign up are grouped to create a business for good. They also receive guidance from business mentors along the way.

“I think my favorite part was definitely the collaboration that we were able to do and the pitch that we were able to develop and learning how to do that and what steps to take,” said Husain, a seventh grader at Jefferson Junior High.

Final day presentations

The program culminated with Thursday’s pitch night, with five groups presenting.

“We did a tutoring company, A Plus Tutoring, which helps kids with their understanding because lots of children need help with their understanding and their schoolwork. So we are a business that helps them understand what they’re learning,” said Zayna, a sixth grader at Jefferson Junior High.

That idea proved to be a winner with the judges.

“I’m like, ‘there’s no way that we actually won this. but then they said A Plus academics and I’m like, ‘That’s crazy’”, said Hanna, a sixth grader at Jefferson Junior High.

The winners took home a certificate, notebook, and bragging rights. But most importantly, they also took away some tricks of the trade.

“They learn skills like ‘how do I market a company?’ ‘How do I figure out the finances and the budget?’, which they can carry through to their life; they could even start a company someday,” said Christine Halblander, Business Designers 4 Good instructor.

More sessions coming soon

Inside Out Club will host another Business Designers 4 Good at the school later this fall, as well as summer sessions. 

“Some of these students are my students, so I’ve seen how their presentation skills have improved in the classroom, engagement has improved a bit, but I think the kids are just really excited about doing something different,” said Halblander.

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