Calgary teens say entrepreneurship program helps financial literacy – Calgary
Over 200 students from Calgary and surrounding areas had the chance to showcase and sell products they themselves developed through an entrepreneurship program.
Sixteen teams comprised of students from Calgary and Airdrie were featured at the Junior Achievement Enterprise Program Trade Show at CrossIron Mills, selling their unique products on Saturday.
Hannah Tester has seen COVID-19 lead to isolation and mental health issues. With this in mind, a seed was planted in the head of the Calgary student: to start a business that consists of selling low-maintenance plants, each with names and six different personalities.
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“Our products were designed around mental health awareness,” Tester said.
“With COVID people are having more and more mental health issues, and we thought providing people with a companion plant would remind them that they are not alone during this time, and our proceeds also go to a charitable organization. charity for mental health.”
Tester said entrepreneurship is a great way to tackle real-world problems. She is one of more than 200 high school students participating in the Company Program Trade Show.
Since October, students have been working at their own pace in teams to design a product and create a financing and marketing plan. This weekend was an opportunity for them to present their products.
“I think it’s very important that we bring financial literacy to young people. It’s just a guide to help them navigate the world,” said Josh Johal, High School Programs Coordinator for Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta.
“Through this process, they learn financial literacy. You learn how to balance your books, on the different cost considerations and work readiness. In fact, they practice interacting with people.
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The Junior Achievement Company program allows students to experience the risks and rewards of entrepreneurship. Participating students reported learning to stick to a budget and the importance of collaboration and communication.
“As president, it can be easy to just think, ‘What I say is fine.’ I focused on not being like that,” said Olivia Monette, a Grade 12 student from Airdrie who takes part in the program.
“I want to make sure I take everyone’s opinions and constantly communicate with my members to make sure everyone feels heard.”
Each year, Junior Achievement brings programs to hundreds of schools to teach students about personal finance.
“Before, I wasn’t super good with money, but now I feel like I have a lot of financial organization skills and save for college, so I learned the importance of stick to a budget,” Monette said.
Last year, the Alberta government announced it would award $1 million in grants to organizations to deliver financial literacy programs to junior and senior high school students.
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A renewal of the $200,000 Junior Achievement in Schools Resource Grant will improve financial literacy programs for students in grades 3-6.
Junior Achievement — a partnership of the business community, educators and volunteers — is the world’s largest NGO dedicated to educating young people about business.
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