Tom Whalen of Sebaly Shillito + Dyer talks entrepreneurship with students from River’s Edge Montessori.

Last month, approximately 30 DPS first through sixth graders from River’s Edge Montessori attended lectures at UD conducted by Tom Whalen of Sebaly Shillito + Dyer.  During the lectures, the students learned about entrepreneurship and business planning.


But the students did not just talk about entrepreneurship, they became entrepreneurs.


Students were placed into small groups.  Each group was tasked with generating a business concept and preparing a simple business plan (including product development, marketing, and budgeting components).  The students were encouraged to be creative in developing their business concepts, which ranged from a cookies & milk stand, to a nail painting service, to a mobile taco shop.  The following week, the students opened their new businesses on UD’s campus and sold their products and services to UD students.


Following the lectures, Tom Whalen had the following comments:  “My favorite part about the whole experience was how excited the students were to create an enterprise from a simple idea and a very small amount of funding.  While the students only had the opportunity to operate their businesses for one afternoon, I think that practical experiences like this will stay with them as they mature.  I am grateful to College Mentors for Kids for providing me with the opportunity to speak to such a fun and energetic group of students.”


Executives from KeyBank and from the National Office of College Mentors for Kids also attended the lectures.  The lectures were sponsored by the University of Dayton Chapter of College Mentors for Kids.  Additional information about College Mentors for Kids can be found here:  Please contact Tom Whalen at for more information about how you might be able to support College Mentors for Kids.

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