I don’t know if it was my dashing good looks or my rave review of SuperCamp Junior Forum last week, but I got the chance to come back for the second half of SuperBizCamp and OH-MY-GOSH, IT IS AWESOME! Really, talk about a great day at work! Yes, I work for SuperCamp so you might think I am biased, but I’m hoping the caps and exclamation points portray my sincere appraisal of this new SuperBizCamp program!!!!!
I arrived at this morning and the students were hard at work in their business partnerships. I took the opportunity to snap some photos and ask some questions and came away impressed. These teenagers (ranging from 14- to 19-years-old) are getting great business principles and practical application and are absorbing it all like CEO’s in the making.
They are engrossed in their projects and always eager to know when they’ll have more time to work on them, including skipping their cell phone time – a SuperCamp first, I’m sure!
Their business ideas are also interesting and inspiring, several of which are charity-based. I am impressed with their sharp minds and willing spirits. They have great attitudes, which I didn’t entirely anticipate. They are working hard and excited about starting their own businesses and helping others.
We were fortunate to have Nancy Gale, founder of handbag company, Jamah, and her non-profit, In True Fashion, as our guest speaker today. She taught us the importance of socially conscience business and being inspired by your business by dedicating it to a cause you are passionate about. It was great advice and made an impact on everyone there, including the adult leaders.
She gave out her business cards with a warm smile and willingness to help these students in the future however she can. Part of the focus of SuperBizCamp is teaching students to build their professional network so these guest speakers are an excellent start and provide wonderful opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise receive.
Following our guest speaker session, we grabbed a quick lunch, as entrepreneurs often do, and then jumped into the selling arena. We had a selling event where students hosted booths to sell their wares. These wares included a variety of merchandise which they bought yesterday In the LA Fashion district. Their products ranged from inexpensive keychains and bracelets to mobile speakers and t-shirts.
We received great moral support from passersby, if not financial. Several offered words of wisdom but one, in particular, went above and beyond, offering an on-the-spot sales class. He gave the team a run-down on what their pitch should be, how to establish rapport and find a sales pitch angle, then had them practice their pitches several times more. He was a great inspiration and the students were grateful to benefit from his expertise and willingness to impart a small share of it on his way to the library. He received many thanks and a cool bracelet for his troubles.
It was interesting to see the students in action. Some were very outgoing from the start, while others preferred a less aggressive sales approach. It was nice to be able to coach students in the moment, during their sales pitches, so they could see how slightly different wording might make or break their sales. I appreciated that these students were so open to feedback and wanting to learn more. This was great practice and I only wish they could do more of it to further hone their skills. Hopefully they will do exactly that when they return home with their business plans in hand.
Debriefing on the selling event was also enlightening. The students identified their strengths and weaknesses and determined action steps. They also realized the variables involved with any business venture, which I think was one of the most valuable lessons.
The rest of the evening was spent working on projects, building and rehearsing tomorrow’s business plans presentations. These kids are enjoying the competition and taking it very seriously which is great to see in these budding young entrepreneurs. Looking forward to some amazing presentations tomorrow!