By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Winners were announced on Friday, May 11 in the first annual Cherokee High School Business Plan Competition. Levi Swearengin took the top prize of $1,000 for his idea of starting an ice cream truck business in Cherokee.
“I’m going to have an ice cream truck,” said Swearengin. “I plan on selling ice cream for a living. I plan on having the jolly rancher popsicle coming out soon.”
He also plans on having a Spongebob push-up pop and a Darth Vader-cicle.
The competition was hosted by the Cherokee Business Development Center and funded by the Cherokee Preservation Foundation.
Second place went to Dennis Walk for his idea of opening an automotive repair shop and third place went to Siri Hicks for her hunting supply store idea.
“Business planning is extremely important and required for most business owners seeking financing,” Hope Huskey, business development specialist at the Cherokee Business Development Center, previously told the One Feather. “A properly done plan will not only allow other people to share in the vision, but will also help keep the entrepreneur focused and ensure that all aspects of business planning are addressed.”
“We hope that if you are serious about being business owners or entrepreneurs in the future, you’ll come see us,” Huskey told the students at a reception on Friday. “We’re available to help. All of our services are free.”
Gloria Rattler, Cherokee Business Development Center director, commented, “We need some businesses here in Cherokee so take advantage of your opportunities.”
In all, five business plans were submitted for the competition.
Sharon Bradley teaches an Entrepreneurship class at CHS and worked collaboratively with the Business Development Center to help the students develop their plans. “I want to thank the Center for their help and for hosting the competition. It’s encouraging for our students.”
Huskey related that the Sequoyah Fund has helped Cherokee Central Schools teachers and administrators attend REAL (Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning) training for the past three years.
“Several teachers in the school are utilizing REAL materials and exercises in their classrooms,” she said. “Notable examples include the auto mechanics and art classrooms where students learn how to order supplies and price their work.”