Students get ‘real-world’ biz experience

Starting Monday, four teams of Oak Harbor High School students will get the chance to run their own business selling products they’ve created themselves.

The teams are participating in the third annual Student Entrepreneur Challenge, sponsored by the Island County Economic Development Council.

Each student in the team that generates the most profit between Nov. 13 and Nov. 19 will receive an in-school $250 scholarship that can be applied to competition fees, school equipment or other academic pursuits, according to an EDC press release.

There will also be prizes of $100 in-school scholarships per student for the business most likely to continue and the most creative business.

Not all of the this year’s teams have decided what they’re going to sell yet, but business ideas include photography, meal basket pickup, socks and chocolate gifts and website management.

Ken Davies, from Cascade Aviation, and Lisa Bernhardt, from Pacific Northwest Art School, are among those serving as community mentors this year.

Michael Lym, a senior at OHHS, has participated in all three years of the competition.

“I really enjoy that it gives the opportunity for students to start their own business,” he said.

This year his team formed “Sockolate,” which sells fuzzy socks filled with chocolate. The team will likely go door-to-door with their product, he said.

Bailie Carroll’s group will be selling their Thanksgiving baskets on the Whidbey Island Buy Sell Trade Facebook page.

Last year, Joy to Jars won the grand prize with its jars of chocolate Chex Mix.

Information about where to find all of this year’s contestants’ goods will be posted on the Island County Economic Development Council’s Facebook page.

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