New Windsor, MD – Imagine a business that would collect donated food from restaurants and other businesses and give it to needy seniors in retirement homes. That’s just one winning idea that came out of the University Startups Social Entrepreneurship class with Springdale Preparatory School students. In the class, one student group came up with World Hunger Entrepreneurs or WHE. The Springdale Preparatory School kids in the U.S. took a top award for the business idea that would solve the food waste problem and help seniors.
“The kids realized that it’s a lot of work and a business approach has to be structured, detailed and comprehensive. It’s easy to miss one or two of the components, and the kids now have a greater appreciation for how hard it is to run a business and have it be successful,” said Tyrone Johnson, Springdale Preparatory School teacher who taught the University Startups social entrepreneurship course.
Another group of students presented a company they called FLE. The idea? Buy high-end clothes from vendors or manufacturers and resell them to teens aged 12-17 at a discount. The social impact would prevent clothes and shoes from going into landfills and the items would save teens a lot of money. Many teens strive to purchase high-end clothing, but cannot afford them. The FLE business plan would help these teens fit in at school or in a social setting, and help fend off depression from not fitting in.
University Startups Founder John Jabara attended the Pitch Showcase and shared, “you can see the wheels in their heads moving while they were presenting. That’s how they learn, by answering questions from the judges.”
The Springdale Preparatory School semester-long social entrepreneurship class, developed by University Startups and taught by Tyrone Johnson, culminated with the students forming teams of Springdale Preparatory School students who pitched their social business idea to 4 judges. Winners were selected on the quality of the presentation, the business proposition, the social value proposition and the launch readiness.
The judging panel was made up of leadership at Springdale Preparatory School -- Dr. Gerald Boarman, Head of School, Michelle King, Director of Student Services, Daniele Tellish, Director of Admissions and Mike Looney, Teacher at McDaniel College and Business Owner.
Springdale Preparatory School has also partnered this spring/summer with a group of 20 students in China who are learning social entrepreneurship via online learning. The course is taught for 4 hours each morning and the students interview customers, work with a mentor and hone their own businesses while learning about social entrepreneurship. The Springdale Preparatory School and the China program will continue again in the fall.
About University Startups: Founded in 2020, University Startups is committed to creating opportunities for students and lifelong learners to expand their worlds beyond a traditional curriculum. The organization empowers students by fostering an entrepreneurial mindset, which helps students to think creatively and find ways to translate their passions into real-world experiences. Whether students want to start a business, attend college, or find a job, University Startups uses proprietary instructional courses and groundbreaking technologies to get them there. All classes are designed by expert instructors from top-tier universities.
About Springdale Preparatory School: Springdale Preparatory School in Maryland, is a multicultural middle and upper private school where students develop academic excellence, critical thinking, integrity, and respect for themselves and others. Through curiosity, creativity, and intercultural understanding, students become life-long learners and innovative leaders. Students cultivate a world awareness and self-confidence necessary to become responsible and compassionate global citizens.