Starting a business is no easy task, as St. John youth learned last week through the Young Entrepreneurz Solutions Business Plan Challenge. This is the first year the challenge, which is held in 25 US cities, London, St. Thomas, and the British Virgin Islands, have come to St. John. The winning teams from each regional competition, including the four St. John youth whose smoothie business won favor with local judges last week, will face off against one another in November on St. croix.
The YES Business Plan Challenge tasks sixth through 12th-graders with coming up with an idea for a new business. Each team of four decides who will fill the roles of CEO, CFO, and other leadership positions. They create a proposed business complete with a plan detailing the description of their venture; a marketing plan including their business’s goal, industry overview, target market, marketing strategies, and distribution channels; the business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats; technology plan; budget; and operation and organizational plans. On Friday, the classroom at the Julius E. Sprauve School where the challenge was hosted buzzed with nervous anticipation as students prepared to present their business plans to the judges, a collection of Love City business owners and community leaders.