Sponsored by local nonprofit Minding Our Business (MOB) and judged by Mercer County business leaders and VIPs, the “2014 Sam’s Club Business Plan Competition”
“These kids worked with professional coaches to improve their presentation and public speaking skills -- and the plans they presented were top notch!” states MOB Executive Director Kevin Wortham. “Even the judges, who included many experienced, successful business people and community members were amazed!”
The “Top 5 Winners” who presented plans for businesses including Sparkles & Sparkz, Bling, Club Moree, Crazy T’s, Shine, Just Girly Girls and won prizes ranging from $25-$150 were: Beyonce Layne, Briani Vasquez, Rashel Gonzalez and Chyna Higss (tied), Maria Vasquez, and Nazira Chatman. However, according to Wortham, all the students participating this summer were winners.
Layne, a 14-year-old student from Paul Robeson School in 2014, states, “All I can say is that I went into the MOB ring like a rookie and came out like a champ! MOB gave me an opportunity to create my own jewelry business, Sparkles and Sparkz, as well as a true purpose. MOB helps kids stay positive about their futures. It has been a great bridge to start crossing toward my future.”
In addition to Sam’s Club, MOB 2014 Summer Program funders included Educational Testing Service, The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, The Nordson Corporation Foundation, The Rose Group, PSEG, AT&T, Janssen, Investors Bank, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Dr. Mildred-Rice Jordan, Bill & Jean Kutcher, State Farm, Lowenstein Sandler, New Jersey Manufacturers, Hopewell Valley Community Bank, McCaffrey’
Thanks to supporters, MOB was able to extend the program this summer from its typical 15 days to 20 days, enabling students to master additional skills and achieve greater summer learning gains, a best practice suggested by the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA). The NSLA recognized MOB’s program as one of the top summer programs in the country in both 2008 and 2009.
About Minding Our Business
Minding Our Business, Inc. (MOB) is a new independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that had operated for more than 16 years as a community outreach program of Rider University’s College of Business Administration. With a mission to change the lives of low income youth and adults and their communities through entrepreneurship, it is committed to helping urban students identify and work toward their dreams. MOB has trained and mentored more than 3,000 Trenton students in starting and running their own businesses since 1997. MOB currently operates a variety of after school and summer educational and mentoring programs focused on entrepreneurship and experiential learning. Each MOB program emphasizes business training, as well as math, reading, communication and life skills.
For further information about Minding Our Business, and/or to donate to support its efforts, please visit www.minding-