In celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week, Bunker Hill Community College's Center for Entrepreneurship, funded in part by a grant from the Coleman Foundation, collaborated on a program to help educate local high school students on the value of entrepreneurship and how the notion of entrepreneurship truly spreads across all disciplines.
Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) hosted four area high schools which included over 120 students on site to attend a symposium on Entrepreneurship entitled: "Entrepreneurship Across the Curriculum - A Celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week.”
The goal of this event was to expose high school students to entrepreneurship, not only as a stand-alone discipline, but also to illustrate how attaining skills in entrepreneurship could be used in other areas such as hospitality, travel and event management, gaming technology and visual media arts.
This was presented by a unique and interesting approach that entailed the theory of opening a small business, namely, a lemonade stand. As many students may have opened a lemonade stand as their earliest entrepreneurial venture, this was a natural illustration to use in terms of demonstrating not only entrepreneurial skills, but how it translates to other areas of study.
The stage was set with an actual lemonade stand and other props. The scenarios were set into five skits, with two "actors' (student volunteers) for each individual skit.
Scene I described our entrepreneur, Julie, who recently graduated from BHCC with a degree in Culinary Arts. She opened a lemonade stand because she created a unique blend of organic lemonade that was unlike any other. Her lemonade was exceptional, a product of her studies at BHCC. However, her grand opening was short lived, as she ran into several issues including calling her business Starbucks Lemonade, and failing to secure several licenses to run her business. Julie decided to go back to Bunker Hill to take a course in business law, as she was now the recipient of a lawsuit.
Scene II opened with Julie returning to her business, now called "Julie's Organic Lemonade.” She learned how to trademark her name for future protection. But Julie's troubles continue as her business is slow and not prospering. She blames the recession as a possible cause, but her friend aptly notes that she has no marketing plan, which may be more of the issue. Julie then heads back to Bunker Hill to take courses in Retailing and Marketing.
In Scene III, Julie reports that she now has a fully executed marketing plan which she learned at BHCC. Sales are up and she begins to get encouraged…with one apprehension – despite a brisk business, she is not making any money. Julie realizes that her production costs are too high and she is losing $5 for every pitcher of lemonade she is selling. Julie decides to again return to Bunker Hill to take courses in Financial Management and Accounting to figure out how to make money at her business.
In Scene IV, Julie displays some cautious optimism. Sales are up 20 percent, and she now knows her breakeven costs and has produced sales forecasts. Despite her success, she realizes that there is so much more to her business than she originally imagined. She learned her craft through attainment of her Culinary Arts degree, but she's decided to go back to Bunker Hill to get a certificate in Culinary Entrepreneurship. She figures not only will she know how to make the best lemonade, she'll also know how to run a business and do it successfully and profitably.
In the final scene, Julie runs into her friend and provides an update. Julie is proud to report that she now has six franchised locations, and has a distributorship established with the local grocery store chain. Through her studies, she's learned that to open your own business, you need the skills to create and manage your product or service, in her case, lemonade, but equally, she also needs to have the business knowledge to put those skills into action, and that you really can't have one without the other.
What seemed to be most impactful was the mode of delivery of the entrepreneurial message via the Lemonade Stand. Using this varied pedagogy not only proved the point, but did so in a fun, unique and participatory way. Each student's involvement made a big impression and provided great entertainment. As various students read their scripts and acted out each scene, the theory of complementing any specific discipline with entrepreneurial studies was solidly delivered. Ultimately, each student left with an appreciation of entrepreneurship and the value that entrepreneurial studies can provide. Following the presentation, break out seminars in Business, Computer Media Technology, Hospitality, Travel & Event Management, and Visual Media Arts were held to reinforce the message of how entrepreneurial studies can be spread across the curriculum.