YouthBiz 2023 contest for students in southeast Saskatchewan
September 19, 2023, 4:10 pm
Sierra D’Souza Butts, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Community Futures Sunrise has started accepting entries for this year’s student business competition—YouthBiz.
The contest promotes entrepreneurship, financial literacy and digital skill building, and is designed for Grade 6 to 12 students in southeast Saskatchewan.
“YouthBiz is a contest for students. It’s for them to be creative and come up with business ideas, and learn about what it takes to do the work to start a business,” said Andria Brady, General Manager of Community Futures Sunrise.
The contest focuses on students having to come up with a business idea, following along the YouthBiz 2023 guidelines. Students have until 4 p.m. on Nov. 14. to submit their projects.
There are two categories in the contest with various prizes for the winners.
“It’s open to students from grade six to 12 in the whole southeast, and they don’t have to be in traditional school, they can be in the homeschool setting as well, ” said Brady.
“There are different categories and different prize levels. We have a Grade 6 to 8 category, then we have a Grade 9 to 12 category, and there’s three prizes in each.
“It would be a $500 prize for first place, $300 for second, and $150 for third. We’ll also have other special awards that will be added to that.”
Students can learn the fundamentals on how to start a business just by participating in the contest.
“This gives the students that practical knowledge too. There’s more to starting a business than picking a name and making some business cards,” said Brady.
“It teaches you how to write a business plan, how to create a cash flow projection, what are expenses, what’s income, how do you determine that, how do you price things.
“I absolutely encourage students to apply, you have nothing to lose. You’re definitely going to learn something, and you’re going to have lots of fun.
“It really gives them an outlet for being creative too because they have to do a business plan, and they have to do a cash flow worksheet, and they have to do a website, but they can also—for bonus marks—create some social media, marketing material, some advertising, a video, brochures, pamphlets.
“This gives them the opportunity to try things like that in a safe environment they’ll have some structure to it so that they can learn more about all of those platforms, which is only going to give them more skills as a student, that will benefit them, and as they move on past school years.”
Business ideas from previous winners
Based on previous competitors, Brady spoke about some of the examples students have done in the past when participating in YouthBiz.
“Some of the students already have existing businesses, there’s been ideas such as jewelry making, different types of crafts,” said Brady.
“There’s been a business that had custom made blankets. Last year there was a sporting goods store, there was a young fellow who did an outfitting business, someone did a book store, a social media sales business, small motor repairs, there was a mechanic.
“There’s been even horse training or pet training, lawn care, some are services, some of it is product, retail, some is online, home-based, some are local or regional, just about anything.”
The reason behind the youth business competition is to encourage young entrepreneurship, said Brady.
“Youth are our future and if we don’t encourage entrepreneurship in youth, our future businesses are going to suffer from that,” she said.
“Lots of young people have those great ideas, they haven’t been jaded by the realities, perhaps so they have lots of great ideas. They sometimes see things we don’t necessarily see as adults, they might go ‘my community really needs this,’ or ‘why can’t we do this, why can’t I find this around me,’ and realize this is something we need.
“The curriculum for the entrepreneurship classes students take, they can meet some of the outcomes by going through this too which is a win for them as well.”
People who are interested in the 2023 YouthBiz Contest can find out more information on www.cfsask.ca/sunrise-services/sunrise-programs