A high school business to warm hands and hearts
ABRAM-VILLAGE, PEI – Nov. 24, 2011 – The immediate objective of students enrolled in the entrepreneurial course at Evangeline School is to establish a small business to sell mittens, but their long-term goal is to contribute to the construction of a home for a family in need through Habitat For Humanity.
“Offered in collaboration with Junior Achievement’s Company Program: A Student Venture, our course shows us the various steps that must be taken to establish a business, including the business plan, the financial plan, marketing, promotion, human resource management and production, among others. We are also learning about the sale of shares,” explains Josée Gallant, president of the student business, named Mittchaleur.
“At the end of the year, with our profits, we will first of all provide a dividend to our investors but we will also support an important cause that will ensure that an Island family will be able to obtain their own comfortable home,” she added.
The course material is taught mostly by teacher Justine Arsenault, but Bonnie Gallant, development officer with RDÉE Prince Edward Island (the provincial francophone economic development council), regularly visits the class to bring in another perspective.
The youth must then establish and operate a business. Each of the eight students must play a particular role in the business. Josée Gallant is president; the other students are all vice-presidents of various sectors: Jillian Arsenault (finances), Samantha Ford (human resources), Mark Arsenault (technology), Troy Gallant and Mathieu Richard (marketing and sales), and Samuel Niyonzima and Nathalie Arsenault (production).
They then sell $10 shares to members of their family, school employees and friends. Each program participant can buy only one share. With the investment funds raised ($550 at last count), they start their business.
Mittchaleur offers two products:
- High-quality fleece mittens, available in five colors and featuring the word “Evangeline” and the school’s sports logo, a coyote footprint (sold for $12 a pair);
- Nice mittens knitted by ladies who live at Le Chez-Nous Co-op’s community care centre in Wellington (sold at $10 a pair).
To order some of these products, customers just have to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The students will also have their products for sale at a table at the entrance of Wellington Co-op Dec. 10 and 11 as well as at the school’s Christmas concert Dec. 15.
“I am very impressed by the enthusiasm shown by these young entrepreneurs,” says Bonnie Gallant from the RDÉE. “They’re convinced and proud of their product as well as by the charity they will be supporting.
CUTLINE: Evangeline School’s vice-principal, Darlene Arsenault, shows the nice mittens that are being offered by the business Mittchaleur. Standing are, from left, the vice-president in charge of finance, Jillian Arsenault, and president Josée Gallant. Bonnie Gallant, seated left, development officer with RDÉE PEI, shows the Junior Achievers program guide. Also present is teacher Justine Arsenault, who delivers most of the program.
For more information:
RDÉE Prince Edward Island
Entrepreneurial course teacher