Stewartville, MN High School Seniors Learn About Business Planning with CEDA/EDA Guidance

The Stewartville, MN EDA regularly works with the local high school economics classes, and this semester they are providing a whole new project for the students. CEDA team member Joya Stetson worked with Stewartville High School economics instructor Sue Grant in designing an assignment that would teach the students about the time and considerations that go into a business plan for a new start up.  In addition, students were taught about the Journey to Growth (J2G) Venture SE MN Diversification Loan Fund which was proposed in the Minnesota legislature to create a $25 Million revolving loan fund to assist eligible businesses with low interest loans.

Stetson produced an outline that asked the students to come up with a business plan for a company that could potentially utilize the Venture SE MN Diversification Loan Fund dollars to create new industry in a currently vacant building or on vacant land in the City of Stewartville. In order to complete the assignment effectively, CEDA Senior Vice President Cris Gastner first shared his business planning knowledge with the students. Gastner spoke to the classes about important components of business plans such as product/service description, market research, advertising, financial projections, future plans and more. “It was very encouraging to see the level of interest from the students” Gastner said. “They were highly engaged and had thoughtful questions. Their final projects will certainly be impressive!”

Stetson and City Administrator Schimmel spent another day with the students to act as consultants, providing them with advice and insight that will help their projects be even more successful. “I believe this project offers students the opportunity to get a feel for what starting a business looks like. The information that they were given is based on actual discussions with new business owners” Stetson shared. “Furthermore, the assignment is teaching students about how legislation can affect you and your community on the local level.”

Students will present their final projects in-class on April 15, and some students may choose to present their business plans to the EDA at its regular meeting on April 16!