University, local schools working to empower youth

Troy University is partnering with Troy City Schools and a marketing consultant to implement an experimental middle school curriculum focused on running a small business. 

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Troy University has partnered up with marketing consultant Donna Clark Schubert to create a curriculum designed to educate 7th graders about running a small business. This curriculum is experimental and will be  provided only to middle schools in Troy City Schools for the time being. 

“This [the partnership] is an example of how Troy University partners with people in the community, and really around the world, in order to provide great education,” Schubert said.  

According to the Director of the SBDC, Juliana Bolivar, other school districts around the area are already interested in the program. She hopes to eventually expand the program due to the prominence of small businesses in Alabama. 

“99.94% of our businesses are small businesses in Alabama,” Bolivar said. “But so many of them are informal, so we want people to formalize their business and be able to succeed, and that foundation is teaching those kids from 7th grade.”

Traditionally, high schoolers are encouraged to explore different career fields. However, this curriculum focuses on practical life skills that everyone needs to know, such as personal finance and credit.

“If you just learn those things earlier in life, I think it’s easier to internalize and learn them and practice them as you get in high school, when you get your first job and when you get you the first credit card and make good use of that,” Bolivar said. “So the earlier the better. I think it’s never too early.

 “We now have elementary schoolers wanting to be entrepreneurs.” 

Schubert said her goal is to give students personal experiences both inside and outside the classroom in addition to empowering them with the knowledge to manage their money. 

“Our goals are to help people at a young age learn about profit and loss so that they have some profit at the end of the month and then down to simple things such as how to manage a checking account,” Schubert said. 

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