What is NC REAL? • Non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization • Active since early 1985 • Presence in 94 of North Carolina’s 100 counties including: • 8 middle schools • 37 high schools • 55 post-secondary educational institutions • 36 community-based and economic development organizations
NC REAL Mission • To develop entrepreneurial talent through action learning and to foster the creation of sustainable enterprises throughout North Carolina, with special emphasis on rural communities
What is REAL Entrepreneurship? REAL Entrepreneurship is NC REAL’s entrepreneurship education program. It helps young people, adults, schools, communities, and rural America grow through hands-on entrepreneurship education. REAL prepares individuals to be active, self-sufficient, and productive citizens. As entrepreneurs and people with the knowledge and confidence they gain from learning how to run a business, they contribute to community and economic development.
What is REAL Entrepreneurship? In high schools, afterschool and out-of-school programs, post secondary educational institutions and community based organizations, REAL Entrepreneurship guides students through the process of creating small businesses of their own design. The process includes: • Self-assessment to determine students' potential and existing marketable strengths, • Community analysis to identify needs and trends in the local economy, • Researching/writing a comprehensive business plan for a student's chosen enterprise, and • Start-up support for participants who choose to open and operate enterprises.
REAL School-Based Enterprise • Who’s Minding the Store? • A guide for educators working with school-based enterprises • Activities and strategies for creating and operating innovative and productive school-based enterprises as learning experiences • Partnership between REAL and National Center for Research in Vocational Education
REAL School-Based Enterprise – cont. • Two main issues: • How can we establish and operate a successful SBE which provides a context for students to learn a range of academic and career-oriented skills? • How can we provide a meaningful experience for students in an SBE that is already up and running?
The Educator’s Role • Use student-centered learning • Experiential Learning Cycle (ELC) • Kolb’s Learning Styles • Act as an “intrapreneur”, or entrepreneurally within the constraints of the school system
The Educator’s Role – Cont. • Act as an “intrapreneur” • Have a plan and clear objectives • Know your limitations and find allies who can help • Treat other stakeholders as customers (what do they have to gain?)
The Educator’s Role – Cont. • Ask the following questions: • Are you willing to commit time to helping run a business? How much? • Are you willing to try a variety of approaches to teaching? • Are you willing to give up some control of your classroom? • What are you willing to risk?
The Educator’s Role – Cont. • Are you willing to risk: • The enterprise losing money initially? • The enterprise closing because it is unprofitable? • Competing with other enterprises or fundraising efforts? • Dealing with inappropriate advertising?
The 7 C’s of School-Based Enterprises • Commitment • Control • Cash • Continuity/closure • Community • Cooperation • Curriculum
The 7 C’s–cont. • Commitment • How do we build student ownership of a new or existing enterprise? • Control • How do teachers learn to “step back” so students can experience the responsibility that comes with control? • How should the business be structured so that students, teachers and administrators have the control they need?
The 7 C’s–cont. • Cash • How do we know if the enterprise is covering its operating costs? • How do we ensure that moneys are handled honestly? • What do we do with the SBE’s profits?
The 7 C’s–cont. • Continuity and Closure • How do we bring in and orient new students so they can manage the business effectively and creatively? • How do we evaluate the SBE experience for and with students at the end of their tenure? • When should the SBE be closed?
The 7 C’s–cont. • Community • What is the market the enterprise serves? • What is the business’ niche? • How will the business avoid competition with other in-school income generating ventures or businesses in the wider community? • What are the social benefits of the enterprise?
The 7 C’s of School-Based Enterprises –cont. • Cooperation • How will students learn to work together effectively? • When will students be able to meet to discuss management of the business?
The 7 C’s of School-Based Enterprises –cont. • Curriculum • What do we expect students to learn through their experience in the business? • What are the expected learner outcomes? • How can the SBE integrate with other courses?
Starting an SBE • Identify students and stakeholders • Engage them in setting goals and objectives • Choose a business idea • Write the business plan
Keeping Student Interest High • Periodic re-planning • Specific projects to improve how the SBE functions • Set and assess learning objectives for student achievement • Integrate the SBE with academic disciplines • Recruit and orient new students
Case Study – Food From the Hood Food From the ‘Hood (FFH) www.foodfromthehood.com at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles is an example of a School- Based Enterprise that blends good business with good citizenship. Created in response to the riots in South Central Los Angeles in 1992, FFH adapted the REAL curriculum to create a garden at the high school where students grew organic produce for sale to local residents. This SBE met an important community need, since many grocery stores had been destroyed in the riots. The SBE has evolved over time; today, students continue to maintain a garden and in addition create recipes for salad dressings which are produced by a local salad dressing bottler. Students learn horticulture and nutrition along with how to operate a successful business. Profits from the business are used to provide scholarships for its student-owners.
Case Study – Mountain Top Café At Kennnesaw Mountain High School in Georgia, a class of special education students created and now run a coffee shop called the Mountain Top Café, www.mountaintopcafe.com. Their dedicated teachers adapted the REAL curriculum for use in a special needs classroom, and the school and local businesses responded with the supplies to make the students’ business a reality. Teachers and students buy freshly made coffee and hot drinks, and teachers can even order drinks online to be delivered to their classroom door. This innovative School-Based Enterprise gives intellectually disabled students the chance to develop genuine workplace skills and interact with the larger school community.
NC REAL Contact Information 3739 National Drive, Suite 110 Raleigh, NC 27612 phone: 919-781-6833 www.ncreal.org