A group of students in Moorestown High School's Junior Achievement program got a hands-on lesson in entrepreneurship earlier this month.
Through a partnership between Junior Achievement of New Jersey, the Mind Your Own Business program and the Fred Baxter Foundation, local entrepreneurs were brought into the school to inspire the students and help them "explore their potential as innovators," according to a release.
The purpose of the program was "to really allow the students a day to monopolize what they learn in the classroom," said teacher Adam Roth.
As an example, Roth explained that the students were handed pipe cleaners and given 10 minutes to use them to create a product—"a take on instant coffee"—and sell it.
"The students were so inspired, one student went out to A.C. Moore (the next day) and bought supplies to make a real version (of the product)," Roth said. "Even the professionals that came and put their work aside for the day were inspired by the kids."
Students were asked to name the two most important lessons they learned from the program. Some of the answers included: "Working with others and making decisions;" "Putting yourself in the eyes of your demographic, thinking outside the box;" "Taking risks and spending wisely."
Roth said the program is one the school plans to revive next year, and stressed the importance of entrepreneurship and small business, particularly in a recession, by pointing out that 99 percent of all business in the United States is done by businesses with less than 500 employees.