4-H programs earn entrepreneurial honors: Rapid River students create their own unique businesses

RAPID RIVER – For the second year in a row, youth in Michelle Hadel’s Current Issues class in Rapid River High School had the opportunity to own and operate their own businesses through a program provided by MSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator, Dave Radloff.

As part of the program, called Generation E, students took their business concept from the idea stage to the actual creation and selling of a products or services. In addition to creating their product or service and engaging in sales and marketing, students also developed a business plan.

These were then submitted to be part of the 2013 Generation E Student Business Showcase held in Battle Creek in mid-May. Twelve students representing the 10 businesses developed this year travelled to the showcase to present their finished product. Participation in the showcase includes submission of a business plan and financial statement, a presentation about their business to judges, and development of a display board about their business and product. Business ideas were also judged on originality, creativity, and recognition of an opportunity.

The student businesses which competed in this year’s competition included:

Cameroonie Scarves – focusing on the production of fashionable scarves for every age group (Rachel Hileman and Halie Hardwick)

Dogstein Dog Toys – providing durable, inexpensive dog pull toys for all sizes and shapes of dogs available in a variety of colors and patterns for the fashion savvy canine (Alex Sunstrom)

KVL Braids – braided headbands in a variety of colors styles and sizes created from the finest recycled t-shirts. (Andrea Gendron, Kendyl Miller, Valerie Viau, and Lydia Froberg)

JB Scentz – smells to freshen your life, original and creative smelling candles created from both new and recycled waxes and scents which come in colors that will complement any dcor. (James Ayotte)

Northern Lights – lighted decorated mason jars developed to recreate the magnificent Northern Lights. (Hayley Brockway and Taylor Paulin)

Peninsula Polish – a company creating homemade nail polishes in a variety of teen focused color (Heather Keenan, Taylor Hedges and Alexandria Williams)

Pucker Up Lip Balm – a product line of lip balm to keep the lips of women fashionable and healthy. Remarkable colors and nourishing effects. (Heather Holzenkamp and Asylnn Brockway)

U.P. Rocks – rock magnets and paper weights that Are fun and entertaining. These guys will bring a smile to your faceeach time you look at the expressive faces that greet you each day! (Hailie Couillard, Paige Vitzke, Rachel LaCosse, Jimmy Moore, and Jacob Kudlick)

Wacky Bags – bags made out of recycled t-shirts which are lightweight, washable, and reversible. Teenagers and young girls will love this product because of its stylish appeal. (Megan Evans and Savannah LaMarque)

Yooper Money Clips – a creation and concept to provide a stylish money clip/credit card holder which represents the outdoor enthusiast. (Rachel Hileman, Josua Parrett, Dave Hough, and Ben Rubick)

James Ayotte’s JB Scentz received two awards for outstanding creative business and outstanding social enterprise. James donated a portion of his award money back to the program to assist next year’s students in covering their start up costs.

Funding to support Generation E Programs is through a Hannahville 2 percent grant. Funding for transportation to the Showcase was provided by a Michigan Works ! the Job Force Board Regional Entrepreneurship Grant.

To learn more about Generation E and entrepreneurship, contact Dave Radloff, Extension Educator at the MSU Extension Office, 786-3032.