WAUSAU - If at first you don't succeed, try again. That's something a group of Wausau area students learned in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy this year. They found out owning a business takes a lot of hard work, patience, and resilience.
"It's definitely not as easy as it seems," said ninth-grader Jackson Boersma.
Boersma found out that out this year when working towards starting his own toffee company.
"I have an entrepreneurial spirit and when this opportunity came up I wanted to get into it," said Boersma.
Boersma is part of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy in Wausau. YEA! is a yearlong program that teaches 14- to 18-year-olds about starting a business.
Monday, students presented their ideas to a panel of investors.
"I really hope that not only do I feel that my work has paid off, but the investors see the potential and the opportunity that's going to come with my business," said ninth-grader Josie Joanis.
Joanis created a monthly subscription box with things like beauty products and comfort items. Monday, she told investors why her idea is worth their money.
"I would like to see this grow and become something bigger," said Joanis.
Each student asked for a different amount of money. Investors could either give them the money they asked for, less, or more.
Program Coordinator Lukas Lindner went through the program two years ago.
"I got less than what I asked and I learned more from that than if I would have gotten the full thing," said Lindner.
No matter what the outcome of the panel, students came away from the experience with more business smarts and desire to see their ideas through.
"It's definitely been a good experience seeing how this works and really getting to start a business," said Boersma.
"I believe every student here tonight has that ability to move onto the next level and I can't wait to see what they do," said Lindner.
YEA! started in September of 2017. The students will also pitch their business ideas at the Central Wisconsin Business Expo later this month.