GCC was filled with young entrepreneurs today as students from more than a dozen high schools in the region participated in a trade fair, selling wares from their virtual businesses.
Debbie Dunlevy, college tech prep project director at GCC, explains the program:
In September 2003, six districts in the GLOW Region, with the assistance of the College Tech Prep program at GCC, began a pilot program related to the Business Career Cluster. There have been up to 11 GLOW school districts participating in the program and currently there are nine with a company. This program integrates an Entrepreneurship class with the international Virtual Enterprise program.
Students enrolled in the class seek to establish a business from the ground up. They design a business plan, decide on a product to “sell," design a marketing a plan, work with payroll and taxes and, in general, learn about all aspects of running a business without assuming any of the actual risks since the entire project is completed virtually using the internet, fax, phone and U.S. Mail.
Students participate in a Trade Fair during the fall term and an end of year competition in the spring semester. All of the schools are members of the Rochester Area Consortium, which includes 10 Monroe County secondary schools, three Erie County schools, plus the nine from the GLOW Region.
At the Trade Fair, students set up displays with the objective of getting visitors to “purchase” their product. Awards are given to the top three schools in the areas of best booth, salesmanship and most sales. Money from the Trade Fair sales is deposited into the company accounts.
All visitors are given $10,000 in virtual money to spend at any of the booths.
This program exemplifies the main goal of College Tech Prep program, which is to provide rigorous academics coupled with hands on or practical application.