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In Stepinac High School’s Foundations in Entrepreneurship Class, Five Groups of Students Compete for Best New Business that Meets Needs of the Student Body


"914 Enterprise" Wins Challenge for Out-of-the-Box Business Model, Not for Selling Products but Experiences Students Do Not Normally Have at High School

Stepinac High School continues to help shape tomorrow’s business entrepreneurs through The Joyce and Frank Colangelo Entrepreneurship Program, the three-year innovative business-focused minor concentration Stepinac introduced in the 2020-2021 academic school year.

 

The real-world approach to learning how to launch and grow a new business is embodied in the Foundations in Entrepreneurship Class, part of the Colangelo curriculum. Class members were challenged at the start of the 2023 fall semester to create a business that would be designed to uniquely meet the needs of a market that was immediately within reach of them—Stepinac’s 800-member student body.

 

Mirroring the competitive spirit of the free marketing economy, the class of 20 students was split into five competitive groups that were each tasked with undertaking a market needs analysis of the student body and creating a business model that would meet the identified need.

 

To support their entrepreneurial approaches, the groups collaborated with marketing and accounting classes which created marketing campaigns and financial statements to help attract customers and investors.

 

Each group was given $100 to help start their business. The students had to think of a business name and a logo and develop a marketing strategy.

 

After running their businesses for about nine weeks, the five groups submitted the results of their efforts for review by Stepinac’s Business Academic Department.

 

The winner of the challenge was 914 Enterprise comprising Marco Graci of Valhalla, who served as CEO; Bryceson Wise of New York City; Lorenzo Robinson of White Plains and Aiden Bross of Yorktown Heights..

 

Rackeal Bellamy, chair of the Business Academic Department, noted that 914 Enterprise “took the out-of-the-box approach not to sell products directly to the student body but, rather, to market new experiences that the students would not normally have at high school but would be willing to pay for.”  Some of the experiences were pop-up shops for gourmet donuts whereby the entrepreneurs would purchase and then sell the donuts to the students at a higher price.

 

Another experience included a Senior Spirit Day that the seniors would be willing to pay to participate.  Among them was a game of dodgeball and, the main event, a tug of war between the seniors and their teachers.


The 914 Enterprise team marketed the 2024 Senior Spirt Day as an all-new experience that provided seniors with free breakfast, access to all the events and early dismissal as well. “It was quite clever,” noted Bellamy​​​​​​​