I had the honor again this year of being a “shark” to evaluate projects of the Rising Women Junior Achievement girls as they presented to a Shark Tank.
Four teams pitched product ideas to a panel of Sharks. Their presentations were followed by questions from the sharks, then critiques. The teams were evaluated and questioned on poise, thoroughness of knowledge of their products, marketing, financial considerations, target audiences, and time constraints. At the conclusion of the competition, one product was chosen, and the entire class formed itself into a company to market, produce, and sell that product.
The program inspires the next generation of female entrepreneurs. It allows them the opportunity to interact with professional mentors on a weekly basis, and with other professionals in the competition phase.
The program has advanced the participants’ critical thinking, problem-solving, understanding of workplace expectations, marketing and sales, supply chain management, leadership, and customer service.
JA Rising Women has launched 5 new student-run companies, generated profits of over $2400, and has donated proceeds to local community efforts.