Video: Kandiyohi County students start businesses in lawn care, handmade furniture and tutoring
WILLMAR -- A person could get a lot done using the businesses started by students of the Kandiyohi County CEO class. The students in the entrepreneurship class presented their first annual trade show Wednesday, attended by a steady stream of peop...
WILLMAR - A person could get a lot done using the businesses started by students of the Kandiyohi County CEO class.
The students in the entrepreneurship class presented their first annual trade show Wednesday, attended by a steady stream of people for more than two hours at the MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar.
The variety of businesses included painting, car detailing, photography, lawn care, hunting supplies, clothing, jewelry and custom furniture made from old pallets.
One student has a business replacing broken screens on electronic devices. Another can outfit an older car so a device can be plugged into its stereo.
One is building his own herd of beef cattle. One has an organizing business, and two offer tutoring.
Each student in the course started his or her own business to complete the year-long course attended by 14 students from Willmar, New London-Spicer and Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City school districts.
During the trade show, teenagers greeted and shook hands with adults as they explained what their businesses were and handed out business cards. Those who attended the show asked students a lot of questions.
They wanted to know where their ideas came from, where they got their merchandise and how they managed inventory.
Some of the young people said they had always wanted to start a business. Others said it hadn’t been their dream when they started the class, but they had enjoyed the experience of doing it.
Many of the students said they plan to continue operating their businesses for some time. Some said they’ll take their business idea with them when they go away to college.
Others plan to go to college at Ridgewater College, in Willmar, and will keep their businesses going as long as they are in the area.
The students spent their year in the class visiting businesses in the area and meeting entrepreneurs of all types. They had mentors from the business community and developed their own business plans.
A few of the young people had started their businesses before they came into the class, while others started more recently. Jase Peterson, an ACGC senior, started his cattle herd after winning a heifer a couple years ago. He now has three cows on his family’s crop farm, and two are expecting calves this summer.
Drake Johnson, a junior from NLS, started his lawn care business a year ago and expects to keep it going when he attends Ridgewater College as a post-secondary options student next year.
Emily Chermak, a Willmar senior, has been interested in photography since she was a child, and a relative who is a photographer took her photos. To start Emily Jane Photography, she offered free sittings to build a portfolio. The class “taught me from A to Z about business,” she said. “I’m really sad it’s coming to an end.”