Pebblebrook High School Students: Entrepreneurs of Today and Tomorrow

The 2019 holiday season is forecast to generate more than 700 billion in retail sales according to the National Retail Federation. Some of those sales have already gone to student-operated businesses at Pebblebrook High School.  

Pebblebrook High School’s Young Entrepreneurship Program was created to help students gain real-world experience as entrepreneurs by building real businesses, generating revenue, networking, and learning from local business owners and professionals. 

After attending the EntrepreNowship conference in June, Pebblebrook staff got the idea to launch the school’s own Young Entrepreneurship Program in August. Students in Pebblebrook’s Introduction to Business, Legal Environment of Business, and Entrepreneurship classes started developing businesses using the lean startup approach. 

As they prepared to launch their businesses, they went on business tours, attended workshops, and conducted hands-on learning activities to strengthen their business knowledge.  

After months of planning, the school held its first Popup Market in November. More than 80 student-business owners sold and promoted their products and services at the event. Hundreds of students, teachers, and staff members shopped at the market. The market then went public so members of the community could shop, too.  

In total, the student entrepreneurs generated more than $3,300 in revenue for their businesses during the market debut. There was such great interest in the Pebblebrook businesses that many of the students quickly sold out of their products.  

Starting in January, Pebblebrook educators plan to expand the school’s Young Entrepreneurship program into a club that is open to all students, not just those in specific classes.  

Pebblebrook educators plan to work with the local community of business owners and professionals to provide students with more hands-on learning opportunities, another pop-up market, and the opportunity to participate in a school “Shark Tank” with community judges. 

The top students will win funds to put towards building their businesses. Staff are looking to the business community to help sponsor the Shark Tank winners.    

“The Young Entrepreneurs Program helps students get away from the theory of being entrepreneurs and gives them the actual experience,” said Ivory Young, Pebblebrook Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) teacher. “The experience helps students not only learn about business, but it also helps them learn the importance of all academic disciplines and how they are applied in society.