KAWARTHA LAKES-Teenager Meg Kitchen isn’t a party girl herself but she loves to help others plan their parties. When the opportunity to develop a business plan and possibly win some money came up she threw her heart into the project and a plan for “Meg-A-Party” was born. “It feels amazing, I’m so happy and i’m so appreciative to win this award.” Kitchen told Kawartha411.
Kitchen was one of 13 local high school students to take part in the business plan competition run through the Kawartha Lakes Small Business and Entrepreneurship Centre. (KLSBC)”The goal is to encourage young people to look at self employment as one of the many careers they could choose.” Diane Steven, Director KLSBC says.
The winners were announced in Lindsay today with Meg-A-Party coming out on top. “My business plan is a party store that combines retail and party facilities in one and what I really like about it was the planning and the researching. It was challenging sometimes to figure out numbers and such but I had great support form my teachers and peers to help me complete it.”
Kitchen was awarded $500 and a plaque. Kitchen says the experience taught her a lot. “I learned that just like a small idea can have such a bigger picture, and I never really thought that just my small business plan activity in high school could actually lead me to this and it also makes me think my business plan could actually be something in the future.”
Two local business men helped judge the applicants and they say this project teaches kids a lot more than how to write a business plan. ” In every job I have had I had to write a business plan, any professional job you have requires these skills.” John Murphy told Kawartha 411.
Another judge, Peter Townsend says “To some extent you look at the quality of the data that goes into it.” Peter Twinned says. “You look at the feasibility of the business plan itself, you try to have them follow the format that’s set out on a business plan. Lastly you look at the financials and see how it’s going to play out.”
Murphy like Kitchen’s plan because of the creativity of the idea. “You have to understand that all of these ideas are a figment of their imagination so you have to have a wonderful imagination to be able to invent this on paper.” Murphy said. “It was an original idea, well presented, well thought out, you could read through that and know what her vision was.”
The First Runner Up was Stonefire Bakery and Cafe by Hope Janes. Stoneware was a coffee shop that offers a variety of home-brewed coffee and tea as well as an array of baked goods in a comfortable, homey atmosphere.
Sweet and Sour Delights was dreamed up by Kyler Shaw and won second runner up. It was meant to be a mini location that offers homemade iced tea and lemonade in Lindsay.
Two other business won Honourable Mention. Tiny Talents Arts Company by Alexis Wilson in Fenelon Falls and Matt’s Custom Embroidery and Apparel by Matt Nixon.
Nixon was not at the announcement.
The competition is sponsored by Kawartha Lakes This Week and the Community Futures Development Corporation. On behalf of the Board of Directors we’ve been involved since inception.” President Andrew Wallen said. “Congratulations to all who are here today as finalists.”
Kitchen is a student at IE Weldon secondary school and plans on going to University of Waterloo for Recreation and Leisure Studies next year. She also hopes to turn her dream of MEg-A-Party into a reality one day!