When Wesleyan parent and former marketing executive Erin Miller approached Dr. Brown, WCA Head of School, with a proposal to offer an entrepreneurial club at WCA, the academy's leadership enthusiastically welcomed the idea. Consequently, Wesleyan's Kids-In-Business Club was created in the fall of 2018 and Erin Miller was charged with helping a group of 3rd and 4th-grade students understand the basic principles of business and ultimately create and run their own small businesses. Erin was more than ready for the challenge!
Mrs. Miller started out by simply helping club members identify their own gifts, interests, and talents. Once each student had an idea of what type of business they wanted to create, she helped the students understand the principles of entrepreneurship by using fun games and discussions. For example, as part of their branding discussion, they played logo identification competitions with familiar logos such as Nickelodeon, Coke, Nike, McDonalds, etc. Other business principles learned included nurturing an idea, knowing your consumer/market research, writing a business plan, marketing and promotions, money matters and even logo development.
Last May, club members held their own Kids-In-Business fair during the PTO Fun Festival. The students expertly displayed their products for WCA parents and students to peruse and purchase throughout the evening. Products ranged from fizzy bath soaps and workout videos to scented playdough, hair bows, potted plants, jewelry, and even dog treats!
When asked via a satisfaction report at the end of 2018-2019, parents and students both shared an enthusiasm for the club. In fact, 100% of the club members said that it was fun and 94% said they felt ready to start their own business. For example, WCA fourth-grader Emory Wallace went on to expand her product line and sell her "Fizzy" bath soaps at the High Point Farmer's Market this summer while fellow fourth-grader Adelle Miller's business continues to grow and she has sold her "Squish" scented playdough at craft fairs throughout the Triad!
Even better news? Because this year's pilot program was such a success, Wesleyan's administration, alongside Mrs. Miller, is expanding the Kids-In-Business Club to middle school students for the 2019-2020 school year, with the first club meeting scheduled for September 24. Club members will then be able to showcase and sell their products in a special business fair in December.
Dr. Rob Brown adds, "We are so thankful to Mrs. Miller for her incredible efforts to not only get this club off the ground but for becoming a great source of encouragement and knowledge for our students. Thanks to her leadership, Mr. Kohns and I feel confident about expanding this program into the middle school this school year."
If your child is interested in pursuing their entrepreneurial talents, make sure your middle school student signs up this fall for the "Kids-in-Business" club by clicking here, completing the form and returning it to their homeroom or Wesleyan's front office. Meanwhile, elementary students can look forward to participating in the club during the 2020 spring semester.