Posted at: 10/25/2012 8:51 PM
Updated at: 10/25/2012 10:46 PM
By: Dietrich Nissen
High School Program Develops Entrepreneurs
(ABC 6 News) -- A charter high school is teaching its students how to be business savvy. This is the first year Rochester's STEM Academy and the African Development Center (ADC) are teaming up to teach students how they can start their own business.
The name of the program is College Bound Entrepreneurs.
High school junior, Zakaria Mohamud, wants to start his own marketing company.
"For shoes, clothes," he says. "Always treat the customers right."
His friend, Abdulrah Hussein, dreams of starting his own car company.
"As a little kid, I always wanted to create something so I used to be interested in shows like Bob the Builder and stuff like that," says Hussein. Each week on Tuesday, the two are among nineteen 11th grade students who learn what it takes to start and run their own business.
"In order to be an entrepreneur you have to learn how to take risks," says Hussein. "It's hard but then it's worth it."
"Kids, I don't think understand finances quite as much as maybe they need to even when they enter college," says STEM Academy’s director, Katie Cannons.
That's one reason the school geared toward Science, Technology, Engineer, and Math, decided to partner with the ADC, and offer this program. The idea is to get these students to think creatively, take initiative, and implement their ideas.
"If you listen to the politicians and everybody. What are they talking about? They're talking about small businesses and getting those kinds of things started up," says Cannons.
"The earlier they can understand the market, the business cycle, the macroeconomics, the microeconomics. We feel that they would be ahead- way ahead of any other high school graduates," says ADC’s director, Hussein Samatar.
"I want to create something that can be useful to people in the future," says Abdulrah Hussein.
"Do you parents own a business in town?" asks the reporter.
"No, I guess I'll be the first in my family," says Hussein, with a smile.
And if STEM continues this program, he may not be the last. The ADC is based out of Minneapolis and helps immigrants with financial counseling, and even first-time home buying.