Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Green Teen Starts Eco-Friendly Business

Well, all of my chatter about the green economy has paid off! My teenage son participated in Ecity Cleveland’s Business Plan Camp recently and decided to start a green business. Actually he wanted to start selling solar panels over a year ago, but never got going, in part due to the fact that he was only 13! The camp, housed out of Cuyahoga Community College, provided a two week, 75 hour crash course in Business 101! The 21 teens that participated learned about revenues, expenses, pricing, marketing, selling and presenting. On the first day they were divided into teams and competed for top lemonade sales on the college campus. Later in the week each camper was given $50 purchase wholesale items and sell them at a farmers market. The proceeds from their sales would then be used towards financing their businesses. The following week each child worked on developing a business plan. Every teen was assigned a business owner to coach them on their plans. How cool was it that his coach was the owner of Good Nature Lawn Care? Good Nature provides organic and environmentally friendly lawn services and happens to be my provider. On the last day of camp there is a competition for the top three business plans and presentations. Local professionals serve as judges (I will be judging in the competition held later this month for the school year participants). I am proud to say that my baby placed in the top three! Cash prizes of up to $300 were awarded to top participants and gift cards were given to the top team. My son’s business, Keeping Green, will market affordable, energy saving, eco-friendly items to neighbors, family and friends and individuals attending various events. His inventory will include CFL’s, power strips, water heater covers, battery charger and weather stripping. The children will be encouraged to further develop and hone their entrepreneurial skills in monthly alumni meetings and have access to basic services and supplies in ECity’s offices. I was just so impressed with each of the children and how quickly they grasped these concepts. I was equally impressed with the ECity’s program and how committed the teachers and administrators were and the level and quality of the services provided to the children. This organization will definitely continue to get my financial support. If you are interested in learning more about what programs may be available in your area click here.

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