AHS marketing students learning to be entrepreneurs

News Photo by Julie Goldberg Marketing students at Alpena High School have their own virtual business called 45 North. Their virtual business helps find homes for rescued cats and dogs and selling pet supplies.

ALPENA — Marketing students at Alpena High School created a virtual business to help them learn about marketing and being a entrepreneur.

The company, 45 North, is a business where the students find homes for rescue cats and dogs along with selling pet supplies.

“We came up with the name 45 North because Alpena is by the 45th parallel and we’re in northern Michigan,” senior Taylor Foster said. “We took a while to figure out our name because we had to make sure that we weren’t going to take other business names and then the majority had to agree on the name.”

The class went to Tennessee for a trade show in November. Some students also went to Northwood University on Monday for a smaller trade show.

At the trade show in Tennessee, there were 100 different booths with each booth being a different business.

“You look at everybody else’s booths and they can buy from you or you can buy from them,” sophomore Madison Smith said.

Foster said students networked with other businesses, handed out business cards, did promotional deals, and analyzed the other booths. There also were competitions the students were able to participate in.

The Northwood trade show on Monday was a lot smaller than the Tennessee trade show, with about 10 booths compared to 100 at the Tennessee trade show.

“There were different presentations we went to,” Foster said. “We went to a presentation where professors gave us tips and advice about our business plan, how we can better our business, and things about the marketing world that would be helpful to know once we apply it to our lives.”

The business was started from nothing so the class picked the name, made a business plan, and designed a logo.

“The whole class is preparing you to be an entrepreneur for the business world once you graduate,” Foster said. “I like doing this because I’m graduating this year and I want to go into business so it’s helping me with my future. I also think it’s good practice with people skills, networking and all of the things that you need to go into the workplace in general.”

“When I’m older, I want to own my own adoption shelter so us being a rescue in finding cats and dogs homes is what I want to do and being an entrepreneur so it’s helped me a lot,” Johnson said.

Smith said she’s not sure if she wants to be an entrepreneur, but wants to do something in business so this class will help with college and figuring out what she wants to do.

The students said after this school year, the name of the business will stay the name so they don’t lose the name, but the idea of the business will change.

Julie Goldberg can be reached via email at jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688.