Bellport High School students enrolled in the business department’s virtual enterprise program pitched their business plans and functions for Portside Sweets and Empire Crates to peers and faculty during the business luncheon, held in the school library on Dec. 19.
VE teacher Shelia Smith congratulated the students, noting that each year a new round of students help grow the companies in a different way. “We have a premier program, and we greatly appreciate the support shown from the district,” Smith said.
The VE course allows students to develop a virtual business from concept to implementation. The class is a real work environment in which the students assume business responsibilities and the classroom simulates the atmosphere of a company. As employees of a virtual business, students are held accountable for the company’s performance. They conduct market research, develop a business plan, design an e-commerce website, pay wages and taxes, maintain 401(K) plans and draft an annual report. In addition, students have the opportunity to interact with 5,000 other VE firms from school districts locally, nationally and internationally. There are approximately 160 high school virtual enterprise businesses on Long Island currently.
The VE students introduced their companies and new offerings, as well as presented a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis before answering questions from their peers and those planning on taking the VE course next school year.
The VE students were then treated to a white tablecloth luncheon, prepared by students enrolled in the culinary program.
Photos courtesy of the South Country Central School District