Lewis Cass ISD, Ed Lowe Foundation host Young Entrepreneurs Day

Published 9:17 am Tuesday, April 16, 2019

CASSOPOLIS — Dressed in their business best, students within the Lewis Cass Intermediate School District learned from industry professionals to discover how to become the next generation of business leaders Monday morning.

Lewis Cass ISD hosted its annual Young Entrepreneurs Day at the Edward Lowe Foundation in Cassopolis. For the event, teams featuring students from Dowagiac, Edwardsburg, Cassopolis and Marcellus schools created and presented a business plan and model to a panel of business and industry professionals, who served as judges. Students also participated in a group activity to teach them about team building. An awards luncheon followed.

Teams from each school in the Lewis Cass ISD presented Monday:

• The Edwardsburg team won the competition with their presentation on Party Paints, a mobile art business. Team members included: Harleigh Besaw, Hannah Brown, Abigal Burnett, Grant Gilmore, Jarod Siguenza and Jarrett Tighe.

• The Cassopolis team presented on their business Quick Cuts, a mobile barbershop. Team members included: Matthew Anderson, Steven Christopher, Taylor, Herwick, Alexus Kongphouthakhoun and Vincente McGee.

• Marcellus students presented Key-Kat, a homeowner’s concierge service. Team members pictured are Adam Frank, James Gooden, Erin Ridenour, Andrew Pachay, Tiffany Marriott and Meagan Schuur.

• Students from Dowagiac were not present at the Young Entrepreneurs Day but did submit their business plan for Triple A.M. Beauty, a mobile salon service. Team members included: Madison Cabrillas, Allyson Hatter, Alison Henry and Allyson Nix.

“It’s always fun to see all the kids out here and to see their presentations, and this year the business plans were great,” said Mikki Spagnoli, the director of career and technical education at Lewis Cass ISD. “It’s one of my favorite days of the year.”

The annual event teaches students how to work in groups, how to present and how to develop leadership skills, said Spagnoli, who has observed eight years of Young Entrepreneurs Day events.

“They really learn to work together over a long period of time,” she said. “I think it is a really good experience for them.”

Students from Edwardsburg, the winning team, said they agreed with Spagnoli’s assertion that the Young Entrepreneurs Day was a good learning experience, adding that it helped them to learn to work together and get a mind for business, despite the fact that many on the team do not plan to pursue business careers.

“We definitely learned how to utilize our own strengths and weakness to run a business,” said Edwardsburg student Harleigh Besaw.

Team members said they were proud that their business plan was named the winner of Young Entrepreneurs Day, adding that they thanked their coaches Kimberly Bellaire and Kenneth Grinnage.

“It makes all the work worth it,” said Edwardsburg team member Grant Gilmore.