Generation Z, who were born between 1994 and 2010, is positioned to become the most entrepreneurial generation ever seen, so it is no surprise Butler Tech is leaning into the “Next Gen” by providing resources and dedicated staff to support their side hustles.
Jeremy West, Butler Tech’s new Entrepreneurship Coordinator, is blown away by the creativity, motivation, and vulnerability of the students as they are creating plans and successful businesses.
“Every student that has taken part in an entrepreneurship project or comes to the Entrepreneurship Center for guidance is making an impact on their school, community, and the world around them,” reflects West.
The Entrepreneurship Center, located at D. Russel Lee, and West’s expertise, is available for all Butler Tech students and is being utilized by individuals and whole classes alike through projects designed to encourage students to think about potential business ventures.
Kathryn Powers, a Mathematics Instructor at School of the Arts, led her students through an entrepreneurship project that was based on the student’s talents, passions, and future goals. The students worked to create business ideas that were either a reflection of their career program at the School of the Arts or something that was close to their heart.
They began the project with a tour of downtown Hamilton, led by city officials where they discovered businesses, resources, and community spaces throughout the local area. They then created business ideas they felt would vitalize Hamilton and create economic growth. The students used prior knowledge from Powers’ statistics class to do market research on their particular business idea.
With the help of Powers and West, students created business plans that were first presented to their peers, then to an entire auditorium of students, staff, and teachers at the School of the Arts. To elevate the experience, four outside “Sharks,” based on the hit business reality show, “Shark Tank,” judged the presentations and provided feedback. Next, the two groups will move on to present their business plans to the City Council of Hamilton at the next council meeting.
“The business ideas generated from the SOA project varied from art studios to an improved foster care system,” said West. “The student’s personal connection to the businesses created a large impact on the culture of the project, while also building community within the School of the Arts. All of the ideas were reflections of the students’ personalities, goals, and passion on how they feel they could make an impact on Hamilton.”
Butler Tech students who are interested in learning more about the Entrepreneurship Center or have a business idea they are ready to discuss, may email West at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the center. There are also Fifth Day Experiences dedicated to a different aspect of entrepreneurship, students can sign up to attend at fde.butlertech.org.
“My main goal is to promote the entrepreneurial activity in every student at Butler Tech and provide the students with educational experiences that motivate them to be a leader in the various pathways they are learning,” said West.