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The Young Entrepreneurs of BCIS

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Grade 5 students have recently been studying a unit on “How the World Works,” with a focus on business and everything relevant to the topic. As part of their studies, they were given the opportunity to start their own small businesses at school and showcase their hard work and ideas. For their first project, the students were assigned to groups, in which they had to start a business that did not involve any money exchanged. This assignment helped them learn the importance of advertisement, as well as responsibility since they had to properly distribute the workload and be accountable for their own roles in their team. By learning from the experiences and mistakes made during this time, they were able to better prepare for their main project: a real small business! For two days during lunch time, they became true entrepreneurs, being empowered to face the challenges that come with running a business and persevering to become successful.

“Hello! Come to our stall! We’ve got delicious snacks!” Shouted one student while wearing a box with holes to see on his head to attract passerby. “We are selling slime! We have so many different colors! Come to our slime shop!” Shouted another over the massive crowds that marveled at the various tables the young entrepreneurs before them have set up.

It was indeed amazing to have seen the results of their great efforts, especially when realizing these young learners started their very own businesses completely from scratch. They took on the tasks of doing extensive market research to create an idea and decide on what items to sell for maximum profit; choosing the perfect location for their shop (with places such as the ES Atrium, Cafeteria, training rooms, Theatre, and even their own classrooms available to them); budgeting properly and being aware of their finances and taxes; deciding on how they will advertise their businesses; and so much more. This year, it is important to note advertisements were different from the previous years, since the students were not allowed to put up any posters around the campus. An added condition that reflected real life consequences was a fine on any group that didn’t adhere to the no poster guideline. The young business minds therefore, had to be creative to get customers. And creative they certainly became! Some visited the MakerSpace to create signs out of wood with directions to their tables, while others utilized cardboard to make large ads they could wear while they walked around, getting the attention of curious members of the community. Some even created origami invitation cards to bring people to their businesses. If the large crowds that came out each day and bought countless items are of any indication, all the businesses were truly successful.

In addition to the different advertising strategies they used, the large variety of items available helped the students generate a profit for their businesses. Some of the most popular and interesting goods sold include the aforementioned colorful slime, toys, games, handicrafts, stationary, baked goods, and drinks. Businesses focusing on showing movies, as well as computer games certainly made many customers part with their money. With most items fairly priced between 5-20 RMB, many of the tables were on the verge of selling all their goods each day. It is therefore no wonder the Grade 5 students were able to raise a total of over 15,000 RMB this year. Following the school mission, which includes “being compassionate and inspired people, who act for the good of all and for the sustainable development of the world,” all proceeds will be donated to a charity of the students’ choosing,

Lastly, it is important to give praise to all the Grade 5 teachers, who worked tirelessly for this project. Indeed, the student businesses were able to run smoothly because of their dedication and commitment to the young entrepreneurs. Most importantly, they deserve the spotlight for providing their students with a valuable and real life lesson.

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BCIS is accredited by the CIS (Council of International Schools) and WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), which demonstrates that the school meets demanding international standards in all the areas of philosophy and objectives, curriculum, governance and management, staff, student support services, resources, and student and community life.Visit www.cois.org and www.acswasc.org for more information.

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation, motivated by its mission, focused on the student. The three programmes for students aged 3 to 19 help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Founded in 1968, IBO currently works with 2,771 schools in 138 countries to develop and offer three challenging programmes to over 763,000 students aged 3 to 19 years.Visit www.ibo.org for more information.

We live by a spirit of inspiring others, achieving ones goals and creating a better world.

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