Last month Celebrate EDU hit the road and headed to Scottsbluff, Nebraska where we led a Celebrate EDU first: a 3-day Kindling Workshop summer experience! Together with our partner, ESU-13, we worked with 14 students who flexed their entrepreneurial muscles and created popcorn businesses.
The students went through all the steps of starting a business, from creating business names and logos to identifying customers, learning about competitive advantage, and practicing their elevator pitches.
The fun didn’t stop there, though! On day 2 of the workshop, they got to bring their business into the real world and sell their popcorn at local Little League baseball games.
This was an awesome opportunity for them to see what it’s like to fully develop a business idea and take a product to market. In addition to making a plan for how they would run the business, they also did research to competitively price their products.
The Workshop was amazing! I learned a lot and know more about how to start and manage a business.
In all, the students prepared and sold over 200 bags of popcorn and chose to give all the proceeds to two local nonprofits. Marie Hein, one of our Kindling Workshop participants, shared, “I had a lot of fun selling the popcorn and I was excited to donate the profits!”
It was amazing to see the participants gain confidence in their strengths, learn about entrepreneurship, and get excited about their futures.
At the beginning of the workshop, 50% of our participants were unsure if they had an interest in starting a business. By the end, 100% indicated they knew if they had an interest in entrepreneurship or not. Similarly, 85% said that they learned something new about themselves.
We’ll be continuing our work in rural Nebraska this year as we focus on expanding the support available for entrepreneurs with disabilities, and we’re looking forward to helping more self-advocates grow!