COLUMBIA, Mo. – A 12-year-old Jefferson City girl, Mira Ghandi, pitched the winning idea of a snow-cone stand at the Youth Biz Idea Pitch Competition on the final day of Summers @ Mizzou Build-a-Business Camp on July 18.
Ghandi edged out 14 other young entrepreneurs participating in the four-day camp hosted by the 4-H Center for Youth Development and University of Missouri Extension. She has been selling specialty-flavored snow cones for two years now.
Steve Henness, MU Extension 4-H youth development specialist, said campers planned microbusinesses they could operate while continuing their schoolwork.
Campers saw presentations by young entrepreneurs, including Centralia brothers Austin and Dustin Stanton, who operate the nation’s largest free-range chicken and egg operation while attending high school and college. Another sibling pair, twins Brynne and Bailye Stansberry of Columbia, talked about their fashion boot company, TwoAlity, which they started planning while in high school.
Campers also toured the MU campus and various Columbia businesses.
Runner-up in the Youth Biz Idea Pitch Competition was Brandon Nwokeji of Memphis, Tenn. Nwokeji, 13, who has already set his sights on attending MU, offered his ideas for forming a personal confidence class to teach others to “demolish that fear” of public speaking.
Ghandi received a Kindle Fire tablet computer for her efforts and Nwokeji received a business startup kit. They were the two youngest competitors in the event.
The competition was sponsored by the MU Trulaske College of Business and CLIMB (Collaboration, Leadership, and Innovation for Missouri Business), a student organization at MU. Other blue-ribbon camp sponsors included Commerce Bank, Miller’s Professional Imaging and Sam’s Club.