Storm King’s History & Social Sciences Department got down to business during the fall semester–business planning, that is. Students in Laura Mowat’s Personal Finance and Business class took project-based learning to the next level when they were charged with creating a sound business idea and preparing a detailed business plan to present as their final project during Semester 1 finals week.


Seniors Tsun Wa Suen and Costanza Siclari present their designer t-shirt business which is already making sales online


The work achieved by the students is impressive; the class came up with many innovative business ideas and presented slick, professional-quality business plans complete with branding and marketing recommendations, demographic research, cost analyses, financing methods, pricing strategies, manufacturing plans, and future projections. One team has even launched their designer t-shirt business online and is already making sales in the USA and Hong Kong.


Ms. Mowat is thoughtfully grading each presentation


Senior Cem Taviloglu, who presented an out-of-the-box virtual running business, had a lot to say about what he learned after his final presentation: “When I chose this class as an elective at the beginning of the year, I didn’t really know what to expect. Now, at the end of the semester, I think I learned a lot of important skills in banking, credit, and how to manage my own personal finances. I also discovered that I actually like business; especially being able to conceptualize it and know what it takes to actually turn an idea into a successful business in the real world.”


Junior Scott Chen discusses his business plan for Peace & JC Media, an internet entertainment platform, with Ms. Mowat and the class


Personal Finance and Business is a comprehensive, semester-long course which introduces the concept of owning and operating a business, the rewards and the challenges of entrepreneurship, and the details of developing a successful business plan. Through a combination of classroom study and off-campus trips, students also learn about national and global influences on businesses, money and banking, and other aspects required to run a business. In addition, they gain an understanding of managing their personal finances, the basics of credit, career planning, and the principles of risk management, among other topics students will find useful in their future lives.