YORK, NE – A program developed through Northeast Community College in South Sioux City that allows its students to instruct elementary students best business practices was featured at a conference that brought together educators, economic and community developers, policy makers and others interested in supporting and growing Nebraska’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The 5th Grade Jump Start Market was one of the sessions presented at the 2018 Nebraska Entrepreneurship Best Practices Summit in York recently. The annual gathering focuses on sharing and learning best practices that support entrepreneurs and build local and regional entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Lori McClaren, business instructor at Northeast, discussed the Jump Start Market model of working with South Sioux City elementary school students on developing business plans so they can create products they can sell.
The Northeast Jump Start Market involves approximately 90 fifth grade students from Cardinal Elementary in South Sioux City who are taught lessons on how to be an entrepreneur.
“We provide them with lessons to become an entrepreneur. In turn, the kids must come up with a product, devise a business plan, borrow money to make the product, and sell the it for a profit,” McClaren said.
She said there is good support from the community when the students’ goods are sold and profits are tallied. The South Sioux City Chamber of Commerce supports the program by allowing the students to market their goods at a Chamber-sponsored coffee event. College students in the entrepreneurial Northeast ENACTUS Club have also taken an active role in the Jump Start Market.
“The ENACTUS students and 5th graders meet one more time following the Chamber coffee to celebrate with a pizza party where the winning marketing team and the team with the largest profit are announced,” McClaren said. “Students receive gift cards for their hard work.”
McClaren said the presentation at the Nebraska Entrepreneurship Best Practices Summit allowed Northeast to showcase the talent in the region and also discuss the potential of youth growing up and staying in the area.
“We chose to work with fifth graders because their creativity is at its highest peak. It was exciting to see the attention paid to young entrepreneurial ideas all over the state and we are part of that movement. We were challenged at the summit to take the next step and continue to grow the entrepreneurship activities.”
McClaren is working to create a summer camp to continue to grow the creativity of the children’s minds.
She said the Jump Start Market is a good project for the ENACTUS Club as it allows the college students to interact with members of the Chamber of Commerce as well as the elementary students.
“Our students learn to take leadership roles in working with the young people as well as to provide involvement in their community. I am also excited to see what the fifth graders do when they graduate and what opportunities they may pursue. We could be looking at our local future business owners.”
To learn more on the Northeast Community College Jump Start Market, contact McClaren at (402) 241-6601 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.