Perspectives

Logan-Hocking Students Become Entrepreneurs Through School Program

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For the second year, the Logan-Hocking School District has partnered with the Logan-Hocking Chamber of Commerce to sponsor the Logan-Hocking Young Entrepreneurs Academy. The program is designed for students from the 6th through 12th grades to learn how to be entrepreneurs.
Last year, eight students completed the program and six are still conducting the businesses they started during the program. This year nine students have embarked on new businesses.

The co-curricular program is rigorous, according to Susan Rinehart, program manager. It demands a minimum of three hours after school each week for 30 weeks. More time is spent at home working on the projects.

The program is assisted by regional volunteers and each student is appointed a mentor to work with them on the development of a business plan. The Center for Entrepreneurship at Ohio University and TechGrowth Ohio also assist these young business people.

The program is divided into three segments: The Big Idea, The Pitch, and The Launch. During the pitch segment participants develop a business idea, research competitors, assess costs, and develop a business strategy. A full business plan is written by each student.

During the Pitch, each student will have five minutes to sell their idea to a panel of potential investors – similar to a Shark Tank. The presentation must include a speech and a power point. The panel will decide who will get investments and who will proceed to a regional pitch competition in Rochester, New York.

The Pitch competition will take place on March 19 at 6 p.m. at the Logan High School. Last year, $9,000 was invested into student businesses, according to Rinehart.

The third segment is the Launch. Students launch the marketing of their products during a day at the River Valley Mall in Lancaster, Rinehart notes.

The academy has been so successful that next year the program is considering expanding.

The program is supported by the following businesses: Rocky Boots, Hocking College, Logan Holl Foundation, Century National Bank, Moose Lodge #873, The Citizens Bank, Reed & Baur Insurance, Walmart of Logan, Jake Hill-CFP-Edward Jones, Ohio University and the Hocking Hills Banking Center.

Three Logan-Hocking Middle School students tell WOUB’s Tom Hodson about the benefits they have received from participating in the school’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy. All three are developing new products and new businesses.

Carson Hodson, 12 and in the sixth grade, is the youngest member of this year’s group. He has developed a business called Man Cave Creations. Recently, he also gave a speech to a meeting of the Logan Area Chamber of Commerce attended by 200 people.

Alec Wesney, 14 and in the eighth grade, has a business call Catastrophe Labs. His project will be presented for possible investment in next year’s competition.

Chrissy Robers, 13 and in the eighth grade, has partnered with a high school student to develop C-H Equine Inspirations.