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North Fond du Lac high school students are learning how to be entrepreneurs

Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 4:33 PM CST
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NORTH FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WBAY) - Some North Fond du Lac high school students are budding entrepreneurs thanks to INCubatoredu. The class is teaching them what it takes to start a business and make a difference.

Chloe Burgert, Lily Heidl, and Laura Ayala are high school sophomores and also so “Hope on the Block”. That’s the non-profit they’re creating as part of their INCubatoredu class.

“The whole concept of the class is to get kids to start their own business, work with mentors in the community to start their process, and learn about the entrepreneurial mindset and hopefully start a thriving business,” says teacher, Kurt Wismer.

The idea for “Hope on the Block”, which will sell apparel, came from team member Lily Heidl’s involvement in community service. She says, “I am an active member in the church, so I help out at The Salvation Army and I do stuff in the wintertime when we have meals to make and we give them to homeless people, we drop them off at people’s houses with low income.”

Through the sale of their products, the teens plan to raise money that they will then donate, 50% of the proceeds, to places like The Salvation Army to help combat homelessness. And while coming up with an idea for a business was one of the easier tasks in class, students have spent the first half of the school year working with their teacher and community mentors to build their concept. They’re learning the ins and out of entrepreneurship.

“You need to learn everything right away and just know what you’re going to do and what’s next,” says Laura Ayala.

Wismer adds, “We’ll do our finances, we’ll do a series of pitches for practice, they’ll get seed money for their business to continue with their work, and eventually launch their product with business and social media, sell their products and services. And continue to pitch for additional monies with the goal of launching their business in real life.”

While the students obviously want to end the school year with a successful business, the idea of IncubatorEDU is about so much more.

Chloe Burgert says, “It’s not like you just go to school, do your things, you actually get to be part of something that’s changing someone’s life for the better.”

And if “Hope on the Block” is successfully up and running by the end of the school year, this team hopes to keep the non-profit operational. It’s a goal that is realistic as other INCubatoredu students have found success with their concepts too.

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