The Microcredit Competition hosted by Impact Entrepreneurship Group came to a close on Monday after a week of savvy marketing. In total, 35 schools in 5 provinces participated, each given $100 and one week to maximize the profits they could earn for a charity of their choice. Here are some of the successes, hindrances, windfalls, and difficulties that two of the teams experienced in the past week:
“For Impact’s Microcredit Competition, our team held an event called Love is RED to raise awareness and support for HIV/AIDS prevention. We chose to support the AIDS Committee of London because by depicting this global issue as something closer to home, we hoped that our community would become more aware of the issue.
The biggest challenge we faced was our lack of knowledge in general prices of items. Our plan to sell t-shirts didn’t go through because, we realized once the competition started, that at $10 per t-shirt, there is only so many before we run out of things to sell. Another challenge was our generalized planning, which caused lost time because we didn’t know what to do. Lesson learned: specific details during planning are needed to make a business successful.
Our success came with selling wristbands. Going to people instead of waiting for them to come to us was a major factor in whether they bought the wristbands or not. Spreading our message by word of mouth also contributed to our success. In the end, we went away from this competition with more respect for budding businesses and more knowledge of how a successful business would work.”
-Jessie Huang, London Central Secondary School
”The week got off to a busy start for the students participating in the Microcredit Competition from Milliken Mills High School in Markham, Ontario. Although the organization and planning of the event appeared to be very rushed, team MMHS was still able to pull through and successfully generate a net profit on the very first day. Selling baked goods, concession items, and raffle tickets for a free iPod was a huge hit within the school, and through word of mouth, the event gained popularity very quickly. While there were obstacles encountered, such as inventory theft, team MMHS quickly learned from their mistakes and implemented solutions instantly. On the final day of the event, team MMHS worked together with Cancer Society to sell pink ribbons and wristbands in support of breast cancer research. Overall, the event was a huge success and valuable learning experience for students at Milliken Mills High School!”
-Jenny Ho, Milliken Mills High School
Congratulations to all teams who have participated in this exciting event! Thanks to all of you who have made this inaugural competition a tremendous success. Stay tuned for the announcement of the winners of our competition.
The Microcredit Competition will be returning to high school across Canada in Spring 2009 - please visit http://microcredit.impact.org to learn more.