Scotland County may soon be home to a number of new businesses, including a t-shirt retailer, a cupcake vendor and specialty lawn care service. And they will all be helmed by local entrepreneurs barely old enough to drive.
Members of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy presented plans for their start ups to a panel of local investors on the campus of St. Andrews University Tuesday night as part of their ongoing work to launch new businesses in Scotland County.
Diverse in nature, the youthful would-be moguls proposed to offer baked goods, keepsakes and jewelry as well as services like landscaping to their hometown market.
The middle and high school aged program participants stood before a panel of investors representing seven local businesses and described the products and services they will offer as well as data about revenue and cost projections, including their initial investment requirements.
Following their presentations, the teen CEOs and CFOs fielded questions from the panelists.
A total of $3,300 was awarded to the businesses by the close of the evening.
The 2013 YEA start ups and their founders are: Sweet Tooth Cupcakes (Kiana Williams and KeShawn Mason), Shrink’d Surprises (Mary John), Nature Boy Lawn Care (A’zar Bostic), Terrific T-shirts (Tiana McMillan and Dashia Bullard), Forget-Me-Knots (Emily Sheppard) and Katch-up (Modele McRae, Courtney Williams and Khadejah Bennett).
Sheppard’s Forget-Me-Knots business was selected as a semi-finalist to represent the Laurinburg/Scotland County Area YEA in the Saunders Scholars Bright Ideas Competition in Rochester, NY.
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy is a nine-month long program tasked with guiding middle and high school students through the process of starting a real business. Steps in that process include business plan creation, the investor panel pitch, business plan funding, business launch, media campaigning, the use of e-commerce and web development, hosting sales events and participating in trade shows.
For the duration of the program’s nine months, the students learn from guest speakers and business mentors and go on-site for tours of area businesses to complete their practical business education.
Members of the YEA investor panel included John Lyon of AT&T, John Horne, Jr. of the Curtis Foundation, Dean Nichols of Nic’s Pic Kwik, Robert McCune of Piedmont Natural Gas, Chris DeCerbo of Pilkington, David McNeil of Progress Energy and Ken Lewis and Bill Carmichael of Scotland County Farm Bureau.