Entrepreneurship program soars during pandemic

The school started the program back in 2014. However, during this pandemic, nearly 20 students started building their own brands.

HARRISBURG, N.C. — At A.C.E. Academy Charter School, students from kindergarten all the way up to 8th grade are learning entrepreneurship skills.

“They’re basically learning how to create the business from scratch,” Program Director Shawn Smalls said.

Smalls said marketing, sales and how to negotiate are some of the key foundations and it’s paying off.

The school started the program back in 2014.

However, during this pandemic, nearly 20 students started building their own brands.

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“Some of them have made over a thousand dollars plus,” Smalls said.

Yari Dariela is one of them.

So far the 8th grader has made nearly 30 cakes since launching “Darielas Sweet taste” in March.

“We have one child that’s in third grade and he has a juice business called SJ’s everyday juice,” Smalls said.

DJ Mekoh is another kidpreneuer.

“He’s booked, I mean like every weekend,” Smalls said.

Booked and busy, providing music for an end-of-year Zoom party for his school’s 4th-grade class, Charlotte Kid’s Fest, virtual birthday parties and for the University City Farmers Market.

“We also have another young lady, Zoie Rogers, that has a candle business and she’s made over a thousand dollars since she started her business as well,” Smalls said.

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ACE academy Charter school helping students use their skills to create new opportunities despite their age.

“They understand that they don’t have to just sit on the sideline, they can create the game in itself,” Smalls said.


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