HS Students Create Winning Businesses at Virtual Enterprises
Ten years ago, the superintendents of several New York City high schools teamed together to develop a practice system in which their students could develop business skills and get hands-on experience in a simulated business world that is completely student run with the guidance of a teacher and a business partner. Now this idea has become Virtual Enterprises, International with a competition every year for the most well prepared high school groups to present their firm and business plans to a panel of judges in hopes of winning a place in the national competition so they can have the opportunity to win $25,000 as the final prize. Students develop their business plans and are responsible for every aspect of its success including the funding, problem solving and international trading for their businesses.
The final round of the Business Plan Competition took place at sponsor Deloitte & Touche’s corporate offices at 2 World Financial Center with 14 teams and 6 finalists from various high schools from around the city. Well-articulated students presented their plans with the aid of a power point presentation and were then questioned by the panel of judges, which included Martha Stark, Director of NYC Department of Finance. Some of the questions judges asked included: “What are your firms’ greatest financial challenges, and what will you do to overcome it?” And, “If you were given a large amount of money, how would you spend it to best prepare against competitors?” Teams were well prepared and gave effective responses as to how their firm would deal with the situation at hand.
Once all presentations were given, judges began the tabulating. Before the winners were announced, Director Iris Blanc and Director of tri-state relations for Deloitte & Touche, Joseph Delaney, gave rousing compliments to the teams. Although all the students were winners in the eyes of Virtual Enterprises, the group that came in third place was VE Law from New Dorp HS, second place The Printing Depot from Fort Hamilton HS, and first place, Universal Promotions from Edward R. Murrow HS. Cheers resounded throughout the room, as winners were announced.
Many of the competitors will be given internships with Deloitte & Touche as well as many other business firms. This experience has been very motivational for all students and an opportunity for them to network with the right kinds of people and gain all sorts of skills. From building a business from the ground up to being able to stand in front of judges and make a presentation, all Virtual Enterprises students have benefited from this highly educational competition and are all champions.#