Pittsford Sutherland High School in New York recently held a trade show to exhibit the products and services of virtual businesses created by students from Western and Upstate New York. This event was organized by Virtual Enterprises International, a program that imparts knowledge and practical experience to students about how to create and manage their own simulated businesses.
According to Ali Shama, the president of Virtual Enterprises, this program has been designed to provide students with a practical experience in entrepreneurship. By “actually running a business in their classroom and doing business-to-business transactions with other students from around the state and around the country,” students learn the skills of running and developing a business.
The trade show was held as a culmination of the students’ efforts, who had been working on their virtual businesses since September. Over 160 students participated in the event, where they showcased their products and services to attendees.
Kellan Bronson, a senior at Sutherland, was one of the students who participated in the program. Her virtual business focused on fitness products and services, which included everything from gym apparel to products that help people stay fit before and after their gym workout. Bronson said, “it’s not just any gym fitness – it’s everything before fitness, everything after. It’s just a fun group to be a part of.”
The program is structured to provide students with hands-on experience in entrepreneurship, helping them develop skills in marketing, finance, and management. Students work in teams to create a virtual business, developing a product or service, creating a marketing plan, and managing finances.
The trade show provided an opportunity for students to showcase their products and services to potential customers, as well as network with other students and businesses. The students were able to engage in business-to-business transactions, which allowed them to develop skills in negotiation and communication.
The program has been successful, with many students reporting that they have gained valuable skills and experience. Sutherland student Mimi Sussman, who participated in the program, said, “it’s definitely taught me a lot about leadership and just being able to take charge and do what I need to do to get things done.”
The program has received praise from educators and business leaders. Dr. Deborah L. Hoover, President and CEO of the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, said, “this program gives students an opportunity to practice being entrepreneurs in a safe, supportive environment. It teaches them how to collaborate with others, how to take risks, and how to think creatively. These are skills that will serve them well in whatever career they choose.”
Overall, the trade show was a success, with students showcasing their virtual businesses and gaining valuable experience in entrepreneurship. The program has provided a unique opportunity for students to develop skills in marketing, finance, and management, preparing them for success in the world of business.
The program has also had positive effects beyond just teaching students entrepreneurial skills. It has helped students to develop teamwork skills and the ability to communicate effectively with others. They have learned how to problem-solve and think creatively, skills that will serve them well in any career path they choose.
In addition, the program has helped to inspire students to pursue careers in business and entrepreneurship. It has shown them that they have the ability to create and manage their own businesses, and that they can be successful in these endeavors.
Overall, the Virtual Enterprises program has been a valuable addition to the curriculum at Pittsford Sutherland High School. It has provided students with a unique opportunity to learn practical skills in entrepreneurship, teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. These skills will serve them well in whatever career path they choose to pursue.