Posted on March 22, 2021
Categories: General News, Uncategorized

Interested in a career in business? Kaiyn Grierson (2022), Marcel Allen (2022), and Tsion Bezabih (2023) are all aspiring entrepreneurs who decided to take their business ideas to the next level by participating in the Schoolyard Ventures Social Innovators program. Schoolyard Ventures is an organization that provides innovative entrepreneurship education for ambitious teens. The Social Innovators program allows students to learn more about the craft of entrepreneurship, find something they’re passionate about, develop it into a product or service, and step out of their comfort zone to achieve their creative goals. Kaiyn, Marcel, and Tsion began participating in the program in December and graduated at the end of February. They chose to participate in this program because they all wanted to learn more about the steps involved in creating successful, sustainable businesses. Each student chose a specific topic around which to develop their product.

Kaiyn’s project, “Bridging the Gap,” centered on researching the challenges that women of color face in the STEM world to identify what opportunity gaps exist. Kaiyn interviewed various professionals who are women of color involved in STEM and business. She found that one common challenge facing women of color in STEM is that many companies do not have a safe space for women of color to come together, be their authentic selves, network, and voice their collective concerns, particularly around the intersectional nature of racism and sexism in the workplace. With this information in mind, Kaiyn developed and hosted a peer meeting group for women of color in STEM, where participants were able to share tips on topics like supporting clientele and marketing. As an aspiring STEM entrepreneur and young Black woman, she would like to host and participate in meetings like this again in the future. Check out this video to learn more about Kaiyn’s project

Marcel’s project, “Money Movers,” focused on sharing financial literacy information with teenagers to help them understand and learn more about finance. Marcel has been conducting his own research on major themes and tips within the finance world for a while, but he realized that many of his peers, and even adults, were not as informed about these topics. Marcel thought that his peers would benefit from learning more about finance, especially from someone their own age, so he developed and hosted a finance class for twenty teenagers. During this class, he taught his peers about budgeting, stocks, and real estate. Marcel’s class consisted primarily of friends and friends of friends, but he would like to expand these classes to make them accessible to students across Philadelphia. His first step is to bring this to Carver BSU’s Economics Committee. His hope is to get more young people interested and involved in finance in the future. Check out this video to learn more about Marcel’s project.

Tsion’s project, “Learn With T.,”examined the many steps and paths that young people can consider taking to start their own businesses. Tsion created a list of interview questions after conversing with her peers in the Schoolyard Ventures program and realizing that many young people are eager to learn about business from experts in the field. She utilized these questions to interview a business owner for the first episode of her very own business education podcast. Some of the questions she posed included the following:

What inspired you to get into business?
How do you balance what you use for materials for your company?
How do you earn profit?
How do you maintain a successful business?
Tsion would like to continue her work by interviewing ten different business owners for her podcast. She plans to use what she learns to start her own business, and she would like to make the podcast public to provide an educational resource for other young entrepreneurs. Check out this video to learn more about Tsion’s project.

When asked about their main takeaways from the Schoolyard Ventures Social Innovators program, our students emphasized the importance of taking risks, reaching out to people to network and learn more, asking for help when you’re confused, viewing every mistake as a learning experience and opportunity to gain transferable skills, and leaving assumptions about what you think you should do behind. This program allowed Kaiyn, Marcel, and Tsion to gain knowledge, skills, and experience that will undoubtedly be beneficial in their college and career pursuits. They recommend that students who are dedicated to learning, passionate about entrepreneurship, and open-minded  participate in this program.