Bluffton Packet

Bluffton's WhizBizKids get lessons on entrepreneurship from local business owners

Joshua Lopez shares his idea for a business with his peers at the Don Ryan Center for Innovation in Bluffton.
Joshua Lopez shares his idea for a business with his peers at the Don Ryan Center for Innovation in Bluffton. Special to The Bluffton Packet

In a conference room at the Don Ryan Center for Innovation in Bluffton, Joshua Lopez stood in front of a group of a dozen people and presented his business idea -- a beat-boxing studio.

The presentation was one of a few from 10- to 12-year-old children who participated in the second year of the WizBizKids program, done through the Boys and Girls Club of Bluffton.

The two-week program gave 30 children, ranging in ages 8 to 12, a chance to develop a business plan and talk with business owners about their experiences running their companies. During the workshop, the children visited the Corner Perk and Garden Gate in Bluffton.

The field trips were Sugeily Davila's favorite part.

Finding out "how those people got started with their businesses and their futures, that was really fun," she said.

Sugeily said she decided to take part in the program because she wants to be a business-owner one day.

"I decided to join it because it sounded fun and it sounded like it could make my life better and already get me started on my future," she said.

According to a release about the program, WizBizKids was created and developed by Christine Williams who was concerned about the creativity gap in America's youth. Linda Ferguson, a teacher at Michael C. Riley Elementary School, developed the lesson plans and will facilitate the program for the second year.

On July 19, the children presented their "P-storyboards" to Williams, Ferguson and Boys and Girls Club board of directors member Frank Mausolf. Each child had to describe the six P's of their business: product, plan, partner (if they had one), production, promotion and purchase. Businesses ranged from a line of pet clothing to a cheer and dance camp to an advertising agency.

The children celebrated the completion of the program at Station 300 with bowling and pizza. All of the guidebooks and supplies, as well as the celebration party, were paid for by Williams.

The presentations were Joshua's favorite part.

The best parts were "to see what was on everybody's mind and to see how they saw it through their eyes," he said. Joshua said the only thing he would change about WizBizKids is how long it lasts.

"I think if we add in another week and a couple days, we can have more creative stuff added and more bright ideas that can (inspire) our boards," he said.