Virtual Enterprises and Virtual Money Traded at Genesee

Hundreds of young entrepreneurs are gathering and displaying their innovative business enterprises at the Genesee Community College Forum on Wednesday, December 3, 2003 from 1:00 - 3:00 PM. Students from 14 different regional high schools, from Dansville to Batavia to Edison Tech in Rochester, are participating in the "Virtual Enterprise Trade Fair," the culmination of uncounted hours of research, creativity and collaboration. Since September, students from each high school have been working to design and fully develop unique product lines and/or services and strategize on the best marketing principles to promote their businesses and be successful at the Trade Fair. The public is invited to shop with thousands of virtual dollars, and the business or school which sells the most virtual products will be recognized at the end of the Trade Fair.

While this is the first time Genesee Community College has hosted the Virtual Enterprise Trade Fair, the program has enjoyed international success and support. In 1998, Rochester City School District was the second school district in the United States to join the Virtual Enterprise Program, and this year 14 schools from our region of the world are participating. The program coordinators are delighted to have six high schools from the more rural communities of Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties join the Virtual Enterprise this year as well as eight schools from Monroe County. The participating schools include:

Alexander High School, Alexander, NY - Genesee County Attica High School, Attica, NY - Wyoming CountyBatavia High School, Batavia, NY - Genesee CountyDansville High School, Dansville, NY - Livingston CountyLyndonville High School, Lyndonville, NY - Orleans CountyOakfield-Alabama High School, Oakfield, NY - Genesee County

Monroe County-Pittsford Mendon High School, PittsfordPittsford Sutherland High School, PittsfordEast High School, Rochester Edison Tech, Rochester Franklin High School, Rochester Marshall High School, RochesterSchool of the Arts, RochesterWilson Magnet School, Rochester

The Virtual Enterprise Program is an exciting option offered to high school students through an economics or entrepreneurship class. Each school develops its own enterprise and the class works collaboratively throughout the fall semester to develop all the components of a successful business. Among this year's enterprises are "Hip Hop Car Shop," Batavia's auto accessories business; "Xtreme Tronx," an outdoor apparel shop out of Dansville; and "M-3," offering the opportunity to purchase Music, Movies and More from Lyndonville. In each of these enterprises, students start from the beginning of a business venture by writing a mission statement, researching product lines and competition, designing brochures and trade show displays, and in the end of the course they will also analyze their final results and run the end-of-year accounting ledgers.

"These students explore all the finer elements of entrepreneurialism and business success through a hands-on learning opportunity," Kathy Lopes, Director of the Genesee Region College Tech Prep program at Genesee Community College said. "Virtual Enterprise not only builds excellent business operation skills, but students gain invaluable collaborative work experience that will serve them throughout their lives-no matter what profession they pursue."

College Tech Prep is a federally funded program operated by Genesee Community College with the goal to help students make a smooth transition from high school to college. The organization currently works with 19 high schools in the Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming (GLOW) county region offering a wide range of programs to encourage student interest in college and enhance their career development. While six high schools in the GLOW area are participating in the Virtual Enterprise Program, this is just one of many opportunities where College Tech Prep provides hands-on learning activities, engages students in decision-making processes within group dynamics, and develops technical skills and business awareness.

For further information on the Virtual Enterprise Trade Fair or Genesee Region College Tech Prep, please contact Kathy Lopes, Director, or Debbie Dunlevy, Technical Specialist at 585-343-0055 extension 6629 or 6316.