Summit Honors Local Students Who Started Own Companies

MALVERN PA – Students from Owen J. Roberts, Spring-Ford, and Phoenixville high schools, as well others from across several area counties, gathered Thursday (April 21, 2022) for a regional entrepreneurial summit conducted by Junior Achievement of Southeastern Pennsylvania. It was the first such in-person event held by the organization during the past two years.

The summit is the culminating event of Junior Achievement’s company program, which teaches students practical skills needed to create, fund, and manage their own business ventures. Those skills are then applied to meet needs or solve problems within their communities.

Twenty-five students representing five student start-up companies were scheduled to make presentations Thursday afternoon at the Penn State Great Valley conference center, 30 E. Swedesford Rd. They were asked to talk about their businesses, the community challenges they took on, the plans they made, approaches they took, and their successes.

Also during the summit, students were scheduled to meet with other teams and discuss their experiences, as well as with mentors who offered advice and suggestions. They had an opportunity, too, to meet and hear from Stephanie Gambone, the new president and chief executive officer of Junior Achievement of Southeastern Pennsylvania, who joined the organization in February.

Enhancing the business acumen of high school students does more than just prepare them for work with future employers, according to a new study from Junior Achievement USA, of which the southeastern PA unit is a part. It also advances their dreams of owning and operating their own companies.

Results of the national organization’s survey, reported March 1, indicate that three in five American teens, or 60 percent, “would be more interested in starting their own business than having a traditional job.” Although 37 percent of those surveyed point to celebrities and social media influencers as inspiration to become future entrepreneurs, about 45 percent said they would prefer to learn about starting a business from experienced business owners.

More than 20 area corporations and businesses helped sponsor the teams during their work year, and also offered support to make the summit possible. For information about sponsorships, call Junior Achievement Business Development Manager Joy Isabelle at 484-253-0489 or send her an e-mail to joy.isabelle@ja.org.

Photo by Artur Verkhovetskiy via Deposit Photos, used under license