By Sarah Greil
TOMAHAWK – Seventh and eighth graders from Tomahawk Middle School recently had a chance to gain a stronger understanding of what it takes to start a small business.
Tomahawk Extended Area Partners in Education (TEAPIE), along with PCA, helped Mini Business World come to Tomahawk by funding the training facility (the PCA Training Center), transportation and snacks for the students.
Mini Business World is a program offered by Wisconsin Business World. Their mission is to “reach, inspire and engage students from every corner of the state and to teach them the importance of business, entrepreneurship and the free market through virtual and in-person events, all while informing them of economic opportunities in their own communities.”
The Tomahawk School District has had a long-standing partnership with Mini Business World. Guidance Counselor Dawn Huseby, who helped to organize the program, said, “Our students get ‘real world’ hands on experiences to what it is like in the business world.”
She says that they “love the fact that it is just like Shark Tank and are very competitive.”
Students were divided into “companies,” which split into departments such as administration, production, marketing, and finance. Each company created their own product and business plan and presented their plan at the end of the day. From reinvented snow shovels to adaptable lens sunglasses and snow-melting rooftops, the creative juices flowed. Other students were then given the chance to question the team about its company and give constructive feedback.
Students shared some things they learned during Mini Business World.
“It takes a lot of people to run a business,” said 8th grader Sophie O. “And there are a lot of moving parts in it. It’s not easy. I give a lot of credit to people who start up their own business.”
“We learned about the different jobs you have to do in business and how each job plays an important role,” stated Fletcher B., 7th grade.
“We learned how difficult it is to start a business because you need a big loan, a lot of storage room and an amazing idea to start it all,” said 7th grader Phoebe H.