Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — ORCHARD PARK — A Lockport High School student took home third-place honors in the 2014 Junior Achievement Business Plan Challenge.
Grace Herman won for her vintage candy shop business idea, “Life is Sweet.” According to her plan, the shop would sell candy from all over the world, as well as homemade ice cream, in a vintage, retro environment.
After recently traveling to several countries, experiencing different cultures through food, Herman found it essential to bring back a taste of culture for all to enjoy. Customers of “Life is Sweet” could experience different cultures through foreign candy while satisfying their sweet tooth, Herman’s business plan said.
The sixth annual business plan competition was held May 1 on the Bryant & Stratton campus. The JA Business Plan Challenge focuses on challenging high school students through interactive classroom activities to start a business venture. Students work with teachers, mentors and JA volunteers from the community to create business plans based on their unique product ideas.
Also placing in the top six was Lockport High School student Brittany Turner. Her business plan was for an organic fast-food company called “CLEAN EATS,” offering a completely gluten-, dairy- and nut-free menu for customers on the go.
Additional participants from LHS included Matt Gagliardi and Austin McFall. Gagliardi’s business plan was for a skateboarding and snowboarding shop that provides a variety of services and products, as well as a lounge. McFall created a plan for “Equipment and Gear Galore,” a business that offers affordable, used sporting equipment to middle- and low-income families.
Before participating in the JA Business Plan Challenge, the LHS students received JA Be Entrepreneurial, a seven-session program led by JA volunteer Kristin Badger-Bach of ThinkTank Strategic Marketing, LLC. Be Entrepreneurial introduces students to the essential elements of a practical business plan and teaches them about advertising, competitive advantages, financing, marketing and product development.
Herman was awarded a $500 scholarship by Junior Achievement of WNY’s Board of Directors.