By EntreEd Regional Director, Laura McCall
As we like to say with entrepreneurship, opportunity recognition is key. I was invited in early May to serve as a judge in the Cherokee County, NC, Murphy High School Smart Tank. I am so glad I participated! In working with students, I am often amazed by their creativity and ingenuity. Any seasoned entrepreneur will tell you that failure is likely, and that growth comes from failure. The beauty of learning from students, is that their creativity has not yet been squelched and they are surrounded by teachers and mentors who have a natural buy-in to their wellbeing.
As one of a handful of both school internal and external judges, I was given the chance to place myself in a dynamic environment, where I provided feedback. I found myself offering more praise than questions for the students to ponder. They knew their work and were as professional as any young business people in presentation style and content. As a judge, I thought I would need to ask about the financial aspects of each plan. Often students have a difficult time grasping start-up costs, revenue, and ongoing costs. With the Cherokee County student presenters, they excelled at the financial piece of their businesses! Adeptly led by Michael Kernea, Entrepreneur Teacher, and Meridith Davis, Cherokee County Career Development Coordinator, the competition was highly professional, and each student left no stone unturned in terms of their business plan and elevator pitch. This competition is one to keep an eye on and definitely sustainable!