More than 200 Wiregrass high school students participated Thursday in the third annual Troy University Youth Business Summit in Dothan, and two walked away with college scholarships.
Students from 13 schools attended workshops throughout the day, with some participating in competitions focused on different aspects of business.
Abbeville High School won the “Shark Tank”-style Business Plan Competition, edging out defending champion Geneva County High School, with students Daniel Axtell and Destin Price earning $2,500 in Troy scholarships.
Troy created the Youth Business Summit to expose high school students to the many facets of business they can explore in their academic and professional careers.
“We wanted to find a way to give back to the local community, and we found that way through our high school students,” said Dr. Lane Eckis, associate professor of economics. “We wanted to make the students aware of business degrees in the areas of marketing, management, human resources, economics and finance. We also wanted to teach them how to present themselves in a professional way.”
Schools involved in the Business Plan Competition created business plans and presented them to a panel of judges consisting of professors and business leaders.
The Best Booth Marketing Challenge featured students using this year’s theme, “Reaching Out, Giving Back,” to partner with local charitable organizations and develop marketing plans.
The Financial Planning Competition gave students $100,000 in play money to invest, with the goal to grow the team’s portfolio.
“Nothing replaces that hands-on learning. When they see their portfolio grow, see that impact, nothing can trade places with that,” said Dr. Carmen Lewis, associate dean of nontraditional students in the Sorrell College of Business. “We want to plant a seed. We want them to be excited about business, and if they can learn something in a workshop or competition that gives them an idea for a good career path, there’s nothing we’d like more.”
Award winners were:
Business Plan Competition: Daniel Axtell, Destin Price
Financial Planning Competition: Evan Baker, Chandler Enfinger, Jahir Lopez
Best Booth Marketing Challenge: Dale County High School, Geneva County High School (tie)