The people of North Brookfield will see over 80 new businesses launched at the Haston Library Spring Festival on May 4 by 100 well qualified entrepreneurs. Who are these entrepreneurs and how did they become business owners? The North Brookfield PTO, in partnership with the Worcester SCORE chapter, sponsor an afterschool educational program called TREPS (short for entrepreneurs). This program has been supported by the North Brookfield Savings Bank, The Chamber of Central Mass South, Quaboag Corp and other businesses who have supplied business mentors to assist the participants.
The TREPS program is a 6 workshop after-school program for grades 4-8 designed to teach students about the elements of starting and operating a business of their own. It is not a game or playtime. Instead participants learn about customers and their own interests to develop innovative products or services with sales appeal. Workshop topics include finances including costs, profits, losses and breakeven analysis in order to successfully price products. Marketing elements along with advertising and promotion are covered to showcase each businesses offering. The North Brookfield cable channel will be running participants' business advertisements so they can evaluate effectiveness.
One of the unique aspects of this TREPS program is workshop #3 where students meet with SCORE, bank and business leaders to review and modify their business plans. Participants sit at school cafeteria tables with 5 or 6 per table. A business leader joins each table to interact regarding the business plans. After 20 minutes counselors are rotated to provide each participant with 2-3 interactions with business leaders. This is by far the best part of the program as important adults treat each participant with respect and help them to be successful in their business.
The excitement builds each week as the Business Launch date nears. Last year the students asked for an extra workshop just so they could review and practice courtesy, customer service and sales skills. On May 4 from 10:00am – 2:00pm, these 100 new business owners will launch their ventures in conjunction with the Haston Library Spring Festival. The Congregational Church has graciously supplied their community hall and grounds for the 80 businesses. Anne Gobi will officially cut the ribbon opening the TREPS Marketplace at 9:45am. Throughout the day visitors from many towns will be able to see what young entrepreneurs can do with their creativity and desire to be successful. Customers will find some very unique products and services just in time for Mothers Day.