JBU SIFE Host World Trade Expo for Middle School Students

Students learn key business skills at a young age

Siloam Springs, Ark. (December 9, 2010) — Middle school entrepreneurs tested their skills as they promoted their businesses at the Northwest Arkansas Mall in Fayetteville during the annual World Trade Expo. Dressed in professional attire, students from six Northwest Arkansas schools set up booths and sold their hand-made products.

John Brown University Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) organized the Expo to give young students an opportunity to apply the basic principles of business, marketing, environmental sustainability and ethics that they have learned over the course of the semester, said Joe Walenciak, JBU SIFE sponsor.

“For 20 years, JBU SIFE has had the opportunity to work with students to educate and ultimately cultivate the entrepreneurial skills of Arkansas students,” said Walenciak. “It’s rewarding to see students understand the process and realize their potential as future business owners.”

Students attended seminars at JBU throughout the semester to learn basic business principles and how to create a business plan for a new product. Approximately 65 teams submitted business plans and prototype products to JBU’s SIFE team, which selected the top 30 business plans to develop their product and compete in the Expo.

Cash prizes were awarded for the top three teams in Best Business Plans, Most Innovative Ideas, Best Booth Displays, Best Logo and Slogans and Best Environmentally Sustainable Businesses.