New Visions Students Participate in Junior Achievement Program
Written by Nick Beardsley of Maine-Endwell and Faith Malo of Windsor
This year, the New Visions Business Academy ran a business called 2020, A Junior Achievement Company. 2020 started back in the summer when the 15 of us from 9 different school districts met each other on an online program called Schoology. Through Schoology, we were able to have conversations and brainstorm future product ideas for our company. We were able to come up with many possible product ideas such as weighted blankets, essential oil-infused stress balls, t-shirts, and pens. Starting day one of school, we met Mrs. Julie Keenan, our Business Academy Teacher, Sheila Doyle of Binghamton University, and Scott Weissmann of M&T Bank. They would be our mentors and help to guide us over the next few months.
On the first day of school we continued brainstorming product ideas, but we realized we needed to establish many other company principles before we officially decided on our product. These principals included our mission statement and our five company values. With this in mind, we continued on to vote for team lead positions for each department. There were five positions, team lead of marketing, finance, sales, supply chain, and management. Each individual interested in a position had to give a speech in front of the class giving their qualifications for their position of interest, and then the class would vote anonymously on who they liked best. We also decided that we would need capital to start the company. We sold $500 worth of stock and raised $2,000 from sponsors with a $100 donation. We also decided on our company name 2020, A Junior Achievement Company around this time because it matched the upcoming year and our future forward thinking. With the future forward idea in mind, we decided on our final 2020 arrow design logo to represent our entrepreneurial growth. After establishing all the fundamentals, the last big step was we had to decide on a product to sell. After many days of debate and results from our market survey, we landed on the idea of reusable produce bags. Reusable produce bags allowed us to confront New York State’s fast approaching plastic bag ban starting in March, while also selling a product which was not saturated on the market. Coming up with a final decision with 15 strong personalities was no easy task. We debated between manufacturing the produce bags or sourcing them, but after further discussion and prototypes we finally decided on sourcing the bags due to time constraints. We named our product the ‘Produce Pouch’, and it was a package consisting of five reusable produce bags. As a company we had to decide how to make these bags our own, so we chose to include a 2020 logo on each bag within the Produce Pouch. In total there were three mediums, one small, and one large bag per product, and the selling price was $20.
2020 sold 293 products within a three month period, without liquidation, and only one write off. Our total revenue was $7,970 from sales, sponsors, and donations. We sold $5,860 from our ‘Produce Pouch’, $2,000 from sponsors, and $110 in donations. After total cost of goods and all expenses, our net income was $5,170.20.
We would like to say thank you to Broome-Tioga BOCES, GBEOP, and Junior Achievement for the opportunity we were able to have. We all learned so much about business, ourselves, teamwork, and leadership through the process. We also will all use this learning experience in our future to help us through college and with our career decisions. On behalf of 2020, A Junior Achievement Company, we would like to thank our mentors: Sheila Doyle, Scott Weissmann, and Jesan Sorrells. We would also like to thank our sponsors: ICS, Visions Federal Credit Union, LCP Group, American Real, and the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator. Lastly, thank you to our teacher, Mrs. Julie Keenan, for helping us to create such a successful business and for letting us have a lot of fun along the way!
Junior Achievement would not be possible without the support of volunteers. If you are interested in helping with a future JA program, please contact Danielle Britton at firstname.lastname@example.org.