The next great business leaders may be working on their sales pitches at an elementary school near you. Cincinnati Public Schools launched its Vision 2020 initiative in 2016. The idea is to strengthen neighborhood schools through specialized new programming in partnership with the community. At Rothenberg Preparatory Academy and Westwood School business acumen is the focus. Students in the 5th and 6th grades design, start and maintain their own businesses as part of the schools' Student Enterprise Program. Local business owners visit the classrooms to give real-world advice to the young entrepreneurs.
Students put their business plans into action this year by selling specially designed coasters in a pop-up shop hosted by MORTAR, a business incubator in Over the Rhine. Universal Woods, Inc. donated the coasters. Business consultants were associated with the University of Cincinnati Economics Center and Learning Through Art, Inc.
Here to discuss the CPS Vision 2020 initiative and the Student Enterprise Program are Cincinnati Public Schools Deputy Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer Laura Mitchell, who was recently chosen to replace Mary Ronan as CPS superintendent when she retires this August; Rothenberg Preparatory Academy Principal Amber Simpson and Westwood School Principal Christopher Grant.