Young entrepreneurs shine in Williamstown

WILLIAMSTOWN – Williamstown Elementary third-graders displayed their entrepreneurial acumen Friday.

Students in the three third-grade classes opened their own personal business after weeks of study and planning.

Students from the Glenville State College Enactus program went to the school in March to show Williamstown Elementary third-graders how to become entrepreneurs.

Third-grade teacher Donna Haer said her students have spent the last three weeks building products and learning sales and marketing strategies.

“They are so creative,” Haer said.

Ruth Patrick, another third-grade teacher, had area business leaders talk with students. Michelle Holl, with Holl’s Chocolate, talked about naming a business, pricing products and how to display products.

Molly Floding, who owns a business in Marietta and has a degree in marketing, brought a color wheel to help students choose the best colors for their advertising displays.

Officials from Williamstown Bank discussed the process involved in starting a business.

As a collegiate student business organization, Glenville State’s Enactus team tries to educate the younger generation about entrepreneurship and the possibility of one day opening a business. To accomplish this, the Enactus team has partnered with Williamstown Elementary School to present LEARN and EARN! Students were asked to create their own business and become an entrepreneur.

Patrick taught at Worthington School, where students from Glenville State did the program about five years ago with fourth-grade students. Partrick reached out to Enactus coordinator Heather Allman about coming to Williamstown Elementary and working with third-graders.

“She was a student in the program when it was at Worthington, and now she’s on the GSC staff,” Patrick said.

On Friday the Enactus team returned to the school to see the results.

In Haer’s class, students designed picture frames, visors, T-shirts, glow-in-the-dark slime, purses made from tape, dog treats, friendship beads and handmade toys. Mark Tucker created handmade Whammy Diddle toys.

Students had to craft enough product for the whole class. In addition to making the products, students also were responsible for advertising, posters, flyers and pricing.

Students also used “money” to purchase the inventions.

Prizes were awarded for the entrepreneur who made the most profit and the student whose product showed the most creativity.