• Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Entrepreneurship For Everyone: Mecklenburg Students Learn What It Takes To Start A Business

  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 4216
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print

A lot has changed since Mecklenburg High School students first started school.

In the beginning, they could walk freely in and out of buildings. Almost anyone could visit at any time. But, schools have had to take steps to increase student safety.  Now students have to scan a badge to get in and out of buildings, while visitors must use a buzzer at the school entrance.

In a Biz Venture Entrepreneurship course being taught at Mecklenburg’s two high schools this year, students are creating their own businesses. Real businesses, with the opportunity for investment and growth beyond the classroom..

 “We hope to make a difference,” says Noah, a junior at Park View High School. He and his team of fellow students think their particular business idea has the potential to save lives when the badges and buzzers fail.

“We have a security device that we’re going to install in schools and banks, high asset facilities,” explains Noah. A sheet of Kevlar®, would bemeck students bolted to the floor beneath doors and windows and could be pulled up to cover them like blinds. “That would make you fireproof, bulletproof, those sorts of things, but still give you access to get out when the building’s clear,” says Noah.

That’s one great idea out of many that have materialized in the Biz Venture classes. Although Christopher Clarke has been teaching business and marketing in Mecklenburg for ten years, this is the first year he’s taught the Biz Venture course. The course is an initiative of Virginia’s Growth Alliance (VGA) and funded through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

“This is a real class where there’s real money that’s going to be invested in ideas,” says Clarke. “It’s real world.”

Offered through Longwood University, the course is designed to have students create a viable product or service. Through a combination of online and in-person instruction, students are guided step-by-step from business idea, to market analysis, financial planning, marketing and, finally, developing a business plan. Students from Longwood University’s College of Business and Economics serve as online mentors to the high school students, providing one-on-one feedback.

At the end of the course, high school students will pitch their business ideas in a friendly Shark-Tank style competition. Judges will dole out $5,000 in investment money, but it will be highly competitive.

Teacher Sara Moore, of Bluestone High School has been blown away by her students’ creativity during the course. They have designed businesses around such concepts as a 24-hour affordable daycare center, a self-charging battery bought through a monthly subscription, a water powered smart car, a clothing boutique and a device which allows friends to share battery powers with each other’s cell phones.

“The real life aspect...actually having real money, real competition and being taught through a university, made it a lot different than other classes,” says Noah. “We have great teachers here, but this just takes it a step further.”pikafind

“The money makes me work harder,” says Trevor, another budding entrepreneur. “I pay attention to my GPA, but the money makes me more competitive.” Trevor will be pitching his idea for a smartphone app. “PicAFind” would be a reverse search engine, allowing users to take a picture and search for written information.

“The future of Southside Virginia depends on this. We’re going to need entrepreneurs to keep the area competitive with places like Richmond, northern Virginia and tidewater,” says Clarke, who is also a Clarksville councilman. “Small businesses are going to help Southside Virginia succeed. So, why not start early?”

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:

Jeff, Executive Director of VGA, grew up in a rural county in West Virginia and his family still lives on the farm that has been in their family since 1841. Jeff's passion is rural economic development, and his economic development experience has always been in smaller, rural communities. He was a primary and driving force behind www.mountainmade.com, a national pilot project with the Robert C Byrd National Technology Transfer Center that showcased the internet as a rural economic development tool.


File Icon Amelia County
File Icon Blackstone Industrial Park
File Icon Brunswick County
File Icon Brunswick County Industrial Park off Rte. 58
File Icon Buckingham County
File Icon Charlotte County
File Icon City of Emporia
File Icon Clarksville Commerce Center
File Icon Crewe Industrial Park
File Icon Cumberland County Community Profile
File Icon Economic & Workforce Evaluation of VGA Targeted Industry Sectors by Mangum Fletcher
File Icon FASTA Site
File Icon Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC) Project Fact Sheet
File Icon Greensville County
File Icon Heartland Regional Business Park
File Icon Hillcrest Business Park
File Icon I-85 Park in Alberta
File Icon Interstate Industrial Park
File Icon Joint Enterprise Zone Map - Greensville County and City of Emporia
File Icon Kinderton Technology Campus
File Icon Lakeside Commerce Park
File Icon Lunenburg Commercentre
File Icon Lunenburg County
File Icon Map of Airports
File Icon Map of Major Highways & Interstates
File Icon Map of Port Access
File Icon Map of Rail Access
File Icon Mecklenburg County
File Icon Mid-Atlantic Advanced Manufacturing Center
File Icon Mid-Atlantic Advanced Manufacturing Center (MAMaC) 60-Mi. Workforce Map
File Icon Mid-Atlantic Advanced Manufacturing Center (MAMaC) Detailed Site Map
File Icon Norwood Estate
File Icon Nottoway County
File Icon Pickett Park
File Icon Prince Edward County
File Icon Regional Profile
File Icon Roanoke River Business Park
File Icon SET Plan
File Icon Southern Virginia Go Apprenticeships
File Icon Southern Virginia Go Cyber Infrastructure
File Icon Southern Virginia Go High-Value Wood Products
File Icon Southern Virginia Go Marketing, Communication and Branding
File Icon Taxes on Manufacturers - Brunswick County
File Icon Taxes on Manufacturers - Charlotte County
File Icon Taxes on Manufacturers - City of Emporia
File Icon Taxes on Manufacturers - Greensville County
File Icon Taxes on Manufacturers - Lunenburg County
File Icon Taxes on Manufacturers - Mecklenburg County
File Icon Taxes on Manufacturers - Nottoway County
File Icon Taxes on Non-Manufacturers - Brunswick County
File Icon Taxes on Non-Manufacturers - Charlotte County
File Icon Taxes on Non-Manufacturers - City of Emporia
File Icon Taxes on Non-Manufacturers - Greensville County
File Icon Taxes on Non-Manufacturers - Lunenburg County
File Icon Taxes on Non-Manufacturers - Mecklenburg County
File Icon Taxes on Non-Manufacturers - Nottoway County
File Icon The Virginian, Lifestyle Magazine Fall 2016
File Icon VGA Entrepreneurship Assessment & Recommendations - Longwood University SBDC
File Icon Victoria-Lunenburg Industrial Park
File Icon Virginia's Growth Alliance