The Post and Courier
By: Caitlyn Byrd
July 14, 2010
Presentations let children build on dreams
Arnay Fludd remembered the nerves she had at last summer's BIZ Camp presentations, but this year would be different.
Gripping her tri-fold poster, she stood up, exhaled and smiled before she walked toward the six judges who would evaluate her project and the projects of 19 other camp participants.
After three weeks at BIZ Camp, 20 middle and high school students from the Chicora/Cherokee community presented their ideas for new businesses to a panel of six judges on Monday. "It gives them a chance to dream a little bit and find out what it would take to start a small business," the Rev. Bill Stanfield said.
Stanfield is the CEO of Metanoia Community Development Corp., the nonprofit that sponsors the camp each year as a part of the Metanoia CDF Freedom Schools program. At camp, students studied financial literacy, entrepreneurship and marketing.
For Shatika McCullough, 15, BIZ Camp gave her skills she could apply immediately. McCullough, along with five other girls, operate the Isoke Sisters Jewelry Business. They make jewelry once a month and sell it in the tri-county area.
"This year, I learned that it's not always good to pick a certain target audience," McCullough said. "In some ways, it's better to try and sell to everyone and find a product that anyone can buy instead of selling to a small group of people."
The product Fludd thought would work best with many people was a day care service.
For two minutes, Fludd talked about the business plan for her imaginary baby-sitting business in front of the judges. As she presented, she held a small stack of note cards in her right hand, just in case.
The presentations, required of all campers, included marketing strategies, promotions and product feasibility. Business plans received scores based on the product, price, promotion, creativity, place, philanthropy, feasibility, their display's aesthetic appeal and the student's presentation.
Connor McIntyre, IT project leader for Cummins Marine Manufacturing Co., served as one of the six judges of the presentations. "Think where you were in the sixth grade. I know that I wasn't doing as much as these kids," McIntyre said.
Arnay Fludd's mother, Erica Fludd, agreed. "I'm really proud of what she's done at camp," she said. "I think it really shows her that the more she applies herself, the more opportunities she will have in life."
For Arnay Fludd, BIZ camp taught her more than how to create a business plan. "Being at camp taught me that I could take my ideas, express my feelings and turn them into something real," she said. "When you have an idea, go for it. Don't let anyone stop you and don't stop believing in yourself."
The first place winner of the presentations, Victor Smith, received $200 from Cummins Co. Travonte Riley won second place for his idea for a DJ service and Fludd won third place for her day care business.
Though the first-place prize money was a nice incentive, Fludd said by the end of the camp she only wanted to be proud of herself. "It would be nice to win, but I knew if I gave my all and had an idea I could be proud of, then that's all that matters," she said.