Future business leaders learn entrepreneurship basics at S.C. Chamber event

Hammond High School senior Kelvin Otioha, left, and Spring Valley High School senior J. Anthony Bennett learned skills to help them be successful in the business world. (photo provided)

Hammond High School senior Kelvin Obioha (left) and Spring Valley High School senior J. Anthony Bennett learned skills to help them be successful in the business world. (photo provided)

South Carolina’s next generation of business owners, company executives and idea-rich innovators converged in the Upstate last week for an annual tradition.

South Carolina Business Week brought together dozens of local high schoolers for six days of interactive learning and skill building on the campus of Presbyterian College. The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce has organized the summertime event for the past three decades.

Students, who sported shirts stating they are “Students Today, Leaders Tomorrow,” had the opportunity to put concepts learned at their respective schools into practice during Business Week. They formed mock companies with assistance from advisers who work for successful businesses, including Michelin, SCANA, Colonial Life, Sun Printing, Midlands Technical College and United Way, and fashioned products from “junk” items.

Business Week also opened doors for the students to tour area manufacturing plants in addition to experiencing life on a college campus.

Two local students, Hammond High School senior Kelvin Obioha and Spring Valley High School senior J. Anthony Bennett, said the week helped them see what their life beyond college could look like.

“I wanted to attend Business Week to help build my business skills as well as my team-building skills. Business Week has also helped me think more about where I’m going to go in the future and what I might major in,” Bennett said.

“Before I learned about business, I was thinking about doing something in the medical field. In our business simulation, we have to make decisions in a relatively short amount of time so I’ve learned a lot about team building,” Obioha said.

On top of practicing entrepreneurship and leadership skills, the students learned how to network and communicate with brand-new people. Obioha said he enjoyed seeing where the other students came from and found it interesting that he and Bennett had never spoken although they live down the street from one another in the Columbia area.

“Meeting new people that you may not have ever met before is the best part of the week,” Bennett added.

South Carolina Business Week will return next summer. Obioha said students “who need to work on decision-making, team-building skills and might be thinking about a major or career in business” should attend.

Companies interested in providing student sponsorships for Business Week or students who want to apply for the 2015 session can visit www.scbusinessweek.com for more information.

Categories: Business

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