They’re crowding the checkout aisles with their carts stuffed with goodies, but they aren’t your typical holiday shoppers. These are E CITY students purchasing the raw materials that they will turn into their business ventures. Throughout November and December, E CITY students from all seven participating schools are heading to stores to begin building their entrepreneurial enterprises.
Through the E CITY program, youth learn business acumen, financial capability, and entrepreneurship skills. During these shopping trips, students learn to manage budgets and balance what they want versus what they need to be successful. While some students wandered the aisles looking for inspiration, John F. Kennedy student Niyah Willis knew precisely what she needed to get her candy apple business up and running.
“Sometimes, I crave a candy apple, but you can only get them through the fall,” Niyah explains. “I decided to create my own. And I have three flavors in addition to the traditional candy apples. Now, I just need to package them, and that’s what I’m looking for today.”
With her cart full of ribbons, pointed bamboo sticks, and flat-bottomed cellophane bags, Niyah says she’s ready to start building her business and sees E CITY as a training ground for her future career.
“I want to own a bakery, this experience is right up that alley,” Niyah says with a smile. “It’s getting me ready. And my classmates are already asking ‘Why didn’t you bring your apples to school? When can I buy some apples from you?’ This experience is a great opportunity for me and my business.”
As these young entrepreneurs continue to curate their businesses, we will bring you updates from the classroom – including who wins the classroom competition rounds leading up to the Young Entrepreneur of the Year competition in May.