PIQUA — Piqua Central Intermediate School hosted a dozen local entrepreneurs and small business owners on Friday, teaching students about what they do and what it’s like to operate a business.
“This is the first we’ve ever done this,” Kathy Graeser, fourth grade social studies teacher, said. Graeser said that she and other fourth grade social studies teachers Sarah Coppock and Stacy Patton came up with the idea as part of their social studies curriculum.
“One of our standards that we teach in social studies in economics and entrepreneurship,” Graeser said. To help the students learn about the different aspects involved in running a business, Graeser reached out to a number of local small businesses to invite them to talk to the students and teach them about profit, competition, risks, and more.
“They were gracious enough to take the morning to come in and talk to our kids,” Graeser said, later thanking the entrepreneurs and businesses for taking part in the day.
In addition to teaching the students about business, Graeser added that they hoped it could inspire the students to also think about their potential futures.
“We hope that it teaches them that maybe someday they can start their own business,” Graeser said.
The students appeared to be engaged with the speakers, asking frequent questions about their businesses.
“They seem excited,” Graeser said.
Susie Pope, owner of Susie’s Big Dipper in downtown Piqua, also engaged with the students by asking them questions to get them considering things that they may not have thought about previously, such as staffing and human resources. She also discussed business risks with the students, saying that, besides time and money, Susie’s Big Dipper also faces a unique challenge.
“Weather is a big factor for us,” Pope said, explaining that the weather could impact a customer’s decision about whether or not to stop in and buy some ice cream.
School nurse and small business owner Michelle McNeill took the Entrepreneur Day one stop further by showing the students that is it possible to have two careers. In addition to being the school nurse at PCIS, McNeill also operates an online business selling baby blankets, bibs, clothing, and more.
“During the day, I’m the nurse. At night, I’m the Grins and Giggles Baby Boutique,” McNeill said.
McNeill started her business on Ebay, but she moved her business onto Etsy, where Grins and Giggles Baby Boutique can be found. She said that her mother taught her how to sew and that her family, including her husband and daughters, encouraged her to start selling her items online. McNeill said that she hit her five-year projections for her business within two years.
One thing McNeill went over with the students was operating expenses, which include her sewing machines, software, fabric, and more.
The following people and businesses also visited PCIS on Friday: Amber Lange of Rosebud’s Ranch and Garden, Eddy Lark of Larck Painting, Luke Thoma of Thoma’s Jewelers, Macarena Dunn of Lipsense, Ryan King of Can’t Stop Running, Brandi Lawson of ReMax Real Esate, Courtney Denning and Amy Snyder of Winans, Bethany Kauffman of Agnes and Dora, Amanda Brown of Balance Yoga, and Tiffany Williams of Whimsical Faces.
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