PORT CHARLOTTE — In a new twist on homework, students at Charlotte Preparatory School have been working with mentors and faculty recently to create a business plan for establishing the “Phin Shop,” a new student-led school store.

After months of research, the group of future business leaders proposed their plan in a “fast-pitch” presentation to faculty and created a business strategy where they could be mentored as they implement earned-income plans and track their progress.

The school’s mascot is Phin the dolphin. A pilot program was started last August and a temporary makeshift store offered a limited selection of merchandise while students learned how to outsource products through local vendors, earning a 40% profit.

Nicole Maugeri, director of development at Charlotte Preparatory School, said the school was selected to participate in the Margin & Mission Ignition, an initiative of the The Patterson Foundation.

Through this initiative, Charlotte Preparatory School will work with the foundation over a 30-month process. The students have created a three-year plan in which the profit amount grows each year.

“We are asking donors for investments toward our start up capital for our new student-led, student-run onsite and online store,” said Maugeri. “All donations will be matched by The Patterson Foundation up to $40,000 until March 20. At this point we have reached 50% of our goal.”

The “fast-pitch” presentation is a part of the Margin & Mission Ignition initiative by The Patterson Foundation. It provides nonprofits with access to expert guidance so they can explore new ways to build thriving organizations with diverse revenue sources that sustain and extend their capacity to do good in the community.

In their “pitch” to faculty, students outlined how they would increase their profit over a three year plan, explaining that while there may be a deficit in the first year, the following two years would earn that money back and make a greater profit.

“Being a part of The Patterson Foundation Family and having the opportunity to work with the people associated with them is an outstanding opportunity for our school,” said Peggy Fear, Head of School of Charlotte Preparatory School.

For more information or to make a donation that will be matched by March 20, visit www.charlotteprepfl.com.

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