Students from Shawnee Mission West have started real businesses. Through a unique and innovative partnership with Oak Park Mall, student owned businesses will be on display in the very first virtual storefront now open for shoppers.
“Supporting student entrepreneurs and education is important and we are committed to this partnership,” shared Karla Engel, senior general manager for Oak Park Mall. Recently, Engel provided SM West’s student entrepreneurs with information on merchandising, marketing, and growing their startup.
Many students have designed and created online businesses that include clothing, accessories, and home decor. Others are working on raising money through crowdfunding platforms to cover expenses for starting their business.
“The support of Oak Park Mall further elevates students’ access to real world learning experiences,” Tiffany Dixon, Shawnee Mission West business teacher noted. “Just imagine the impact on our local economy if more traditional classwork helped young people start real businesses during the school day. These entrepreneurial experiences will help our students make even better college and career decisions after high school.”
“I am hoping many of our Shawnee Mission community members and alumni will do their holiday shopping with student owned stores and make donations to support new student owned businesses,” Dixon added.
The mall storefront will feature student-owned brands and student entrepreneurs seeking startup funding. The storefront uses QR codes to link to a classroom website that connects shoppers and donors to individual student owned businesses.
“I am a bit nervous, but overall excited!” Kimi Capule, Shawnee Mission West sophomore shared.
Every dollar given by the community takes a student entrepreneur one step further on the path toward reaching their real business goals. To support these student-owned businesses, visit https://www.smwvikingdesigns.com/seed-funding.
The partnership between the school district and Oak Park Mall will continue through the spring semester.