Junior CEO, is a six-week digital business education course that teaches kids the basics of starting their own business. The program was developed by the Visalia Chamber of Commerce and has been licensed to the Santa Maria Valley Chamber who will be the program administrator for the local version of this program. Junior CEO is created with the theme of opening up a business selling strawberry-themed desserts. At the end of the program, Junior CEO students will get to open their own dessert stands (or another concept that they created) at the Santa Maria Town Center.
The program is produced to communicate at a sixth-grade learning level and covers six main categories:
- Business Fundamentals (Forming a business plan, setting up a bank account, etc.)
- Cost Models
- Safety & Food Prep
- Marketing &Customer Service
- Money Management
- Future Planning
Each virtual session includes a local business leader as a guest speaker. Local business experts will also be available during regular "office hours" to answer questions and provide guidance. All virtual sessions and "office hours" will be conducted via Zoom.
- September 26th: Program Kickoff Event at Toyota of Santa Maria
- October 3rd: Session 1 Materials released
- October 10th: Session 2 Materials released
- October 17th: Session 3 Materials released
- October 24th: Session 4 Materials released
- November 7th: Session 5 Materials released
- November 19th: Junior CEO Business Launch Day at the Santa Maria Town Center - Junior CEOs will get the opportunity to launch their business and sell their product to the public!
- November 28th: Session 6 & Junior CEO Graduation/Celebration Event (More details to come!)
Session 1: Fundamentals of Setting Up Your Business (Sponsored by CoastHills Credit Union- Business Services)
The first session focuses on the basics of officially starting the business. Developing a business name, business structure, filing paperwork for their DBA, their business license, setting up a bank account, etc.
This session is sponsored by CoastHills Credit Union - Business Services
Session 2: Cost Models
Students are taught how to form a business plan by using a cost model for their strawberry dessert stand: What ingredients are needed and how much of each ingredient is needed for the recipe. How to source ingredients, cost of goods sold, selling price point, profit margin, etc.
Session 3: Safety and Food Prep (Sponsored by L&G Farming)
Before the business starts selling to customers, safety protocols and food prep guidelines must be in place. This session goes over the importance of food prep, safety, and the importance of having guidelines and protocols.
Session 4: Marketing and Customer Service (Sponsored by Marian Regional Medical Center)
With the business officially up and running, it’s time to market the brand and bring in customers! This session walks students through some marketing basics and best practices, and the importance of having exceptional customer service.
This session is sponsored by Marian Regional Medical Center.
Session 5: Savings and Money Management (Sponsored by CalPortland)
The sales are coming in! Now what? This session will address the importance of savings and money management. How much do you use to re-invest in the company? How much should be put into savings/reserves? This session will walk students through a plan on how to manage their profits.
This session is sponsored by CalPortland.
Junior CEO Business Launch Day! (Sponsored by Santa Maria Town Center)
Junior CEO Business Launch Day takes place at the Santa Maria Town Center! Junior CEOs will get the opportunity to launch their business and sell their product to the public!
This session is sponsored by Santa Maria Town Center
Session 6: Future Planning (Sponsored by Your People Professionals)
This session will be a live opportunity to review the results of your business journey so far and an introduction to career awareness and preparation courses and tools that are available through our local school districts. We'll also provide resources for those Junior CEOs looking to continue on with the business they have created!
This session is sponsored by Your People Professionals.
My child is not in the 6th grade, can he/she still participate?
We want your student to participate. Our material is aimed at children in upper elementary grades. You know your student and their capacity. Younger students may need a bit more help from you. Older students will see this as an introduction to concepts they can develop more deeply.
When does Junior CEO start?
The Fall 2022 Session Junior CEO program will begin September 26th with our in-person kickoff event
Must students log in on a certain day and time?
This program is set up to complete one course per week, but is designed to allow your student flexibility. Find a time that works best for your student and participate then. The great thing about this program is you can customize it to whatever schedule works for you. The program does have required weekly zoom sessions to allow students to check in on their progress and get questions answered.
Can I sell something besides strawberry desserts?
We love entrepreneurs! While the program is designed around selling strawberry-themed desserts (beverages or baked goods), we do allow students to choose to sell a non-food item, as long as it includes a strawberry component. Utilize this coursework to start whichever business works for you.
Are there any additional costs?
The $25 Jr. CEO registration covers access to the webinars and google classroo, downloadable workbooks, and marketing packet. Students will need funds to start their business (think supplies to make their dessert, plates, etc.). How to find these funds is covered in the class.
Will students be graded?
As in business, success is measured very differently. We want this fun experience to be a life lesson on how to start a business, create positive customer experiences, manage and save money, and build a brand. There are no grades just an opportunity for learning beyond the classroom.
What materials are required?To participate in Jr. CEO, students must have access to the internet and a computer.