A Brief History
The Student Stock Exchange is a registered non-profit educational organization that fosters the entrepreneurial spirit amongst our youth. Since 1995, the program has been helping students transform theory into practice by taking a hands-on approach. Students are expected to develop an innovative idea/product, form a company, and ultimately sell their product to the public, i.e. the general student body. The project nurtures entrepreneurial skills, as students, working in teams of 6 to 10, literally must bring their product to market. Each team designates a position for each of its board members including CEO, accountant, company lawyer, and directors of marketing and purchasing, etc. Among their many responsibilities, the team must define a mission statement and an ethics charter for their company, budget and raise capital, provide for accounting and accountability procedures, conduct surveys, market and advertise, review legal obligations, promote and sell, and establish a charitable giving policy (this is in addition to donating to the school's bursary fund). Discussing, negotiating, being diplomatic and accommodating are all parts of the conflict resolution situations that they face.
A Cross - Curricular Approach
As the project continues to evolve, the focus has extended beyond the economics or entrepreneurship class. As part of an inter-disciplinary approach, the Arts and Humanities, Information Technology, French and English departments have all become contributors to this endeavour. Business and community leaders are invited to sit in as honorary board members of the newly founded companies. As role models, they will guide, suggest, motivate and inspire teams to do well.
The introduction of new technology has also been integrated into the project. The Student Stock Exchange combines wireless technology and the old style bidding pits as both students and staff politely wade through a shouting crowd of bidders. Students use the money raised from their IPOs to operate the company. Shareholders, parents and the community at large can follow the progress of each business online. In addition, teams use wireless internet laptops during board meetings as they update their company web page.
Long Term Goals
The long-term plan for this project is to host an Entrepreneurship Exchange, similar to a Science Fair, throughout Ontario and Quebec, and perhaps one day throughout the country. The best entrepreneurial teams from each school are invited to attend a final gala to celebrate and acknowledge their accomplishments.
Fostering the entrepreneurial spirit,
Founder and Moderator