A business planning simulation was part of a recent meeting of FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) clubs from public schools in the counties of Rockingham and Augusta and cities of Harrisonburg, Waynesboro, and Staunton. The event was sponsored by the JMU College of Business and the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center (SV SBDC). Organizations also assisting in the program were JMU Center for Economic Education, JMU Center for Entrepreneurship, Virginia FBLA, FBLA-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc. National Center, and JMU Bookstore.
About 100 high school students were divided into teams of four students each. They first participated in an ice breaker event where they had to solve a series of word puzzles. The main challenge of the business planning simulation was to then create an “elevator pitch” for a new small business located in a fictitious location. SV SBDC Business Advisor Don Crawford presented the details of the mock town and business climate where the students would open the business. The student teams competed in a first round to determine the top four elevator pitches. The top four teams then competed in a final round to select the best overall pitch. Don Crawford from the SBDC, Suzanne Bergmeister of the JMU College of Business, and two student representatives from the state board of FBLA judged the final round.
Don Crawford had this to say about the event: “All these students were intelligent and engaged in the process of creating a teen friendly business for the fictitious small town. I have confidence they will indeed be business leaders of tomorrow.”
Connect with Business Advisor Don Crawford HERE.