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2014-11-21 digital edition

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November 21, 2014  RSS feed

Text: T T T

Hillel eighth graders study entrepreneurship, aid African women by selling their crafts

Alissa Chernin selling LivAfrika products Alissa Chernin selling LivAfrika products Hillel Academy of Tampa has begun a new entrepreneurship program that not only teaches students about running a business but helps women in Africa.

The entrepreneurship program, which has been integrated into the eighth grade curriculum, is taught by Forward Thinking Initiatives, a nonprofit organization that has been teaching in the Tampa Bay area since 2005. Hillel Academy’s art teacher, Debra Campbell, is the owner and instructor of the program which partners with LivAfrika, an organization that aims to empower women in Africa through the students’ marketing and sale of items the women have made.

The Hillel students are learning about cultural and economic issues of Africa along with such entrepreneurial concepts as transportation logistics, the role of customs, exchange rates, insurance, payment, contracts, working with Fair Trade companies and sustainable communities, marketing and sales, and how to develop a corporate philanthropy.

Hillel students look over the items for sale. Hillel students look over the items for sale. The students have started a small trading company and are operating a retail “store.” The items, purchased from LivAfrika, range in price from $10 to $60. The line of goods includes bowls and necklaces made from paper products and reversible bags designed for iPads. All the goods are crafted from renewable resources.

The eighth graders each have a catalog of products and they sell the products before and after school.

The students have chosen to donate 50 percent of the proceeds to the Africans, 25 percent to Hillel Academy and keep 25 percent as commission.

For more information on LivAfrika or Hillel Academy, call (813) 963-2242.

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