By Trevor Andrews, Reporter
The Entrepreneurship Pathway has given junior students an opportunity to create their own business.
Entrepreneurship Pathway teacher Adam Zlomke said, “I try to push kids to do whatever their vision is, and a lot of kids find out some things are possible and others find out it isn’t possible.”
He added that students are only limited by what may be illegal or inappropriate for school.
He said that students find a problem the first couple weeks of junior year, and then they begin to try and find a solution to that problem.
“Right after the end of Christmas break they pitch it to a group of people to see if they can get funding from the school, and then they start building their project out with the funding they received,” Zlomke said.
Zlomke said that students advertise their businesses by using social media, flyers, or by word of mouth.
“In sophomore year they learned how to create mobile apps if their business needed it, but this year they focused on identifying a problem, coming up with a solution for that problem, learning how to talk to customers, and they get an introduction to marketing,” Zlomke said.
Zlomke said that the school provides students with money, but it also provides students with many tools like 3d printers.
“Entrepreneurship has a risk-taking nature to it where you have to learn how to take a risk and learn how to fail, so a lot of my kids do fail during the year in regards to failing at their idea and not the class itself,” he added, “Students have to learn to get up and make changes and tweaks to their idea so it does work. As long as kids are trying to take risks and build something they’re going to pass the class.”
Zlomke said that students have had many ideas in the past like a breathalyzer connected to a car that’d keep drunk drivers from driving, clothing lines, and even a candle business.
“In senior year we have a hybrid approach to the cost. If the students’ business failed their junior year they have an opportunity to restart and come up with a brand new business but it would have less money. On the other side, if their business fails, they can continue with that business. Afterwards we take them through opening up a bank account, how to come up with more customers, and work more product development,” Zlomke said.
“The class is more of an office space for kids to work on things; I’m here for support and to provide resources,” he said.
Samahir Abdi, a junior, said, “Our idea for our business is to draw hennas for people.”
“Henna is a temporary tattoo that people can get done. There are a lot of designs you could get, and henna comes from a plant so it’s organic to use and it usually lasts around two weeks,” she added.
Abdi said that she is working in a group with three others: Angelina, Victoria, and Erin.
“I’m looking forward to teaching my group how to make designs,” Abdi added.
“Our biggest struggle was having everyone understand each other and agreeing with each other; we commonly argued,” Abdi said.
“We’ve previously advertised our product through social media and by putting up flyers around school,” Abdi said.
Abdi said that their original idea was to make a business where they’d sell desserts from different cultures and educate people about those cultures, but they changed to making hennas since they believed it would be more manageable and easier to have everything under control.
“Hennas are fun and you don’t have to commit to a long term tattoo, they also look beautiful on hands or any other part of the body,” Abdi said.