Young entrepreneurs take over Crossroads School

The school's Grade 7s had a chance to run their businesses for the day and it came with many lessons on what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurship has, in part, been described as an individual who has an idea and acts on that idea, with a new product or service. To the practice of this theory, Crossroads School held its Entrepreneurial Day that saw Grade 7s become great visionaries for the day.

To find out what went into the day, the paper caught up with four of the day’s entrepreneurs; Thandiwe Sikwila, Saul Gordon, Holly Halfon and Christian Marshall.

Saul Gordon at his Nerf Gun station.

For Saul, he recognised that although running your own business seemed easy on paper, dealing with people with multiple people who want to purchase something is a challenge. “You never actually know how things are going to turn out – if you’ll make a big profit, or lose everything.” Through running her own business, Thandiwe experienced both independence and challenges. It also encouraged her to think on her feet, and come up with new and improved ideas constantly.

As with any business, challenges were sure to arise. Christian’s biggest challenge were the winds the day brought with it. As his stall sold jewellery and koeksisters, some of the products would often get blown away.
For Holly on the other hand, it was keeping in check her costumers, who, when asked to line-up so she could better assist them, would clamber around her table, making it hard for her to assist a person at a time.

Thandiwe Sikwila has a lemonade stand and sells some sweets too.

When it came making a profit, the entrepreneurs generally made profit. Though Thandiwe did not make the profit she had hoped for, she thinks she priced her products well.
Saul purchased his supplies at R180 and made a R600 profit though he thinks he may have undercharged.

Christian Marshall sells koeksisters and jewellery.

Christian purchased his goods for R200 and ended up making a R500 profit while Holly, who even though she made all her money back, faced a R2 loss which made her sad. “I put all my money in there and a tiny bit of my mom’s money. I think my price for popcorn was too high because I didn’t know everyone would be selling popcorn – and their prices were cheaper so I had to lower it a few times to sell it.”

Holly Halfon sells various items at her stall, which include mini-hard drives and mini-canvases that come with pens as well as jelly tots.

The day’s experience taught Holly how to manage a business and realise that at times everything will not go her way. It also taught her the skill of improvisation to ultimately make things work. Saul said it taught him it is never about what the entrepreneur thinks of his product, but rather what the customers think of it.

Among the many skills they gained through the day, it also taught the children independence, how to manage finances and patience.

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