Winnipeg students showcase entrepreneurial skills at St. Vital centre trade fair

Winnipeg students were afforded the opportunity to showcase their entrepreneurial skills at St. Vital Centre on Saturday at a trade fair.

For a day, the newest stores that set up shop were completely run by student members of Junior Achievement Manitoba, ranging from ages 15 to 18.

The students had the opportunity to create and sell their products at the trade fair.

Program Manager Jeanette Bergman says all the work is mostly done entirely by the student.

“They need to do everything from the ground right up, so they are sourcing their products, they are doing production, they are doing their own marketing, if they need to hire extra people during production they are doing that as well,” she said.

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The fair consisted of eleven teams who had to create a business plan, work with vendors, and find creative ways to attract interest from customers.

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Grade 12 student Aishmeen Brar is in her second year in the program, and says it inspired her to go to the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba.

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“Getting into the program, getting to know what exactly happens in the business world really helps you get the feel of it, and really solidified where I want to go in my future,” she said,

Brar and the others have taken the opportunity to learn how to network and understand finance. With the support from mentors who help guide them and work through their ideas to make them feasible.

“In a classroom, a student is just another student, and they do their work and they hand it in and go home. But here, they take ownership, they become accountable for all their roles, every student has a distinct set of roles,” said Jeremy Towes, a teacher at the Springfield Collegiate Institute.

Towes says he believes the skills the students learn will carry them foe the rest of their lives and give them a leg up in starting their own long-term businesses in the future.

With files from Global’s Katherine Dornian

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