Young entrepreneurs shine bright at Enid Bennett High
Just beyond the early-morning fog of Bog Walk in St Catherine, near the foot of Jews Pen Hill, sits the Enid Bennett High School, whose students are making strides on their journey to becoming successful business people.
Coming down from the rush of winning third place at the National Careers Week Junior Achievement Pitch Competition earlier this year, the students took their award- winning products back to Bog Walk and started Amazing Scents, a small cosmetics company with a focus on soaps, candles, body butters and more.
"The competition is across the island, and held in different regions. It encourages students at the grade nine level to start their own business. So we went ahead, we made our products, and then we presented the products to a number of judges," explained Denise Harrison, a teacher at Enid Bennett.
According to Harrison, placing so high on the winner's block has motivated the students, raised their self-esteem, and has even encouraged them to start their own business ventures.
She also explained that the school is fully prepared to continue its support of students who choose to pursue business ventures like Amazing Scents, as long as the students continue to be excited about the possibilities, like grade nine student Melissa Hope.
Hope, who operates as the group's marketing officer, said: "I really enjoyed the process of making the products the most. It feels fun to be exposed to new things and to learn to continue making new things."
Harrison explained that the entrepreneurship class teaches the basics of the business model canvas (BMC).
"Through the BMC, the students can tell you who is their target audience, how they get the products to the audience, how to keep customers coming back, and much more. And then, at the end of all of that, they do a product evaluation, which includes fixed cost, variable cost, and the cost per unit to see if they break even."
At the end of the semester, students should be able to make, promote and sell the products.
The students explained that this process has been going very well through the use of social media platforms like Instagram, where they get most of their sales.
Sonya Ford-Parker, science teacher at Enid Bennett who taught students the chemical aspect of the product creation, said that Amazing Scents needs more funding to buy the ingredients needed to make the products.
"It is a small business, so the little profit we do make has to go back into getting the ingredients for what we make now. But with more funding we can grow and expand," Ford-Parker said.
Harrison also encouraged other schools, and students, not to be intimidated by the thought of starting a business.
"The sky is the limit. Just go for it, and stay confident," she said.