World Trade Expo Teaches Middle School Students Good Business Skills

The 22nd Annual World Trade Expo, hosted by John Brown University Enactus (formerly Students in Free Enterprise or SIFE) will be held Friday, Nov. 15, in the men’s Dillard’s wing at the Northwest Arkansas Mall. The entrepreneurship education program and middle school business plan competition will give middle school students the opportunity to test their skills as they promote their businesses.

The nearly 100 students, from 11 area Northwest Arkansas middle schools will set up booths and vend their products from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. At 2:30 p.m., students will complete in the elevator pitch competition in the food court area of the mall.

JBU Enactus organizes the Expo to give young students an opportunity to apply the basic principles of business, marketing, environmental sustainability, social responsibility and ethics that they have learned over the course of the semester.

Participating middle school teachers deliver an entrepreneurship curriculum and students organize into teams to write business plans around original product ideas—from homemade fashion accessories to handcrafted picture frames. Teams then submit their business plans to JBU Enactus for evaluation. The top 30 plans earn an invitation to the Northwest Arkansas Mall in Fayetteville where they open a booth for a day of business, pitching their products to potential customers.

In addition to classroom instruction, students attended a seminar at JBU to learn basic business principles and how to create a business plan for a new product.

Cash prizes will be awarded for the top three teams in Best Business Plans, Best Booth and Product Displays, Social Enterprises of the Year and Most Environmentally Sustainable Businesses.

John Brown University is a private Christian university, ranked No. 2 overall and No. 1 Best Value among Southern regional colleges by U.S. News and World Report. JBU enrolls more than 2,500 students from 42 states and 44 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, degree completion and concurrent education programs. JBU is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and a founding member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

World Trade Expo Schedule- Friday, Nov. 15, Men’s Dillard’s wing of the NWA Mall
10:00 a.m. – booths open for business
2:00 p.m. – all booths close
2:30 p.m. – elevator pitch competition and awards ceremony (Food Court)

Schools Participating in World Trade Expo 2013
1. Decatur Northside
2. Gentry Middle School
3. Gravette Middle School
4. Helen Tyson Middle School in Springdale
5. Hellstern Middle School in Springdale
6. J.O. Kelly Middle School in Springdale
7. Lincoln Middle School
8. Prairie Grove Middle School
9. Randall G. Lynch Middle School in Farmington
10. Siloam Springs Middle School
11. West Fork Middle School