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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

The Sweet Smell of Success

October 15, 2013
Sonia and Lauren left no aspect unaccounted for in their cupcake business plan.

Their assignment was to create a business, develop a business plan and present it to “the bank” – in this case Campus Director, Joel Morgan, Academic Dean, Victoria Gutierrez and other staff – in order to get approval for a business loan.

Sonia and Laura put their heads together and came up with “Panoramic Cupcakes”, a mobile cupcake café. Sonia loves to bake and Laura has a solid understanding of finances, so they knew they would make a great team. Now came the hard part. The plan.

“It took a lot more work than we thought,” says Sonia. “The Business Plan had to take all aspects into account, like how much cupcake inventory we had to have, budget, competition, advertisements, self-employment. It was a lot to put together.”

The big day came and their Business Plan, after many revisions, was ready to present to ‘the bank’. Their project grade would be based upon how much of their $14,000 loan request was granted. To improve their odds, the mobile cupcake team had a secret weapon that might just sway the lenders: a multi-tiered, display of creatively decorated cupcakes, brownie pops and colossal cupcakes ready for sampling.

“They provided a beautiful display of their products and overwhelmed the funding team,” says Joel Morgan.

This project was a powerful business experience for both students.

“I want to open my own restaurant some day,” says Sonia, “so this business program is one of the smartest decisions I’ve made. This practice opened the door just that little crack that I needed to get started.”

Laura, who was more intrigued by the financial and accounting aspect of starting a business, felt the effects of this project, too.

“There’s a lot more to business than I thought,” says Laura. “After going through this process I understand what business owners go through and know that I will be more of an asset to them now.”

Everybody benefitted from this exercise. The ‘lenders’ got a workable Business Plan and some delectable treats, the business entrepreneurs got a $12,000 ‘loan’ (qualifying them for an ‘A’ grade) and lots of attention from students pushing for the next bake sale. There is one more thing. Sonia has been hired to bake cupcakes for an upcoming birthday party.

How sweet it is.

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