(07/16/19) BATON ROUGE, La. — One of the state’s newest businesses is not owned by a major corporation, it is owned by a 10th grade student from East Baton Rouge Parish.
Triple S Show Supplies is owned by Sarah Israel, a 4-H member who just completed the first Young Entrepreneurs Academy Program in Baton Rouge. YEA is a yearlong educational program that prepares young people to own businesses.
LSU AgCenter college and career readiness specialist Christina Zito-Hebert said the program, which is headquartered in Rochester, New York, has partnered with the LSU College of Business to help young people realize their dreams.
“4-H members have a tremendous opportunity to turn their 4-H project work into real businesses by learning entrepreneurial skills,” she said.
Sarah said the idea for her business came as a result of a need that she discovered first hand as a poultry and rabbit exhibitor.
Her product is a show bag that holds the items needed to be successful in the business of showing chickens and rabbits.
“The problem that I had was having liquids to spill into the bag that I was using, which can ruin your day,” Sarah said.
When she began developing the idea, she had planned on creating an app but decided on creating the bag instead.
“I wanted to create a bag that can be hung on the cage, where you can maintain control of the bird and not have things spill all over the place,” she said.
The grooming bags currently come in two sizes, a basic and a deluxe size. She is also producing a bag for showing rabbits.
“My goal is to sell my bags online as well as in local Tractor Supply and Co-op stores,” she said. “My ultimate goal is to have a booth at the LSU AgCenter district and state livestock shows.”
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy consists of weekly three-hour classes from September to April, Hebert said.
During the course, the students took field trips to learn about business processes, and the program ended with a pitch night, where the students presented their business plan to potential investors, which is similar to the reality television show Shark Tank.
“At pitch night, I received $800 seed money to get my business up and running,” Sarah said.
In addition to receiving the seed money, Sarah and the other students may also apply to receive three hours credit from the LSU Stephenson Department of Entrepreneurship and Information Systems in the E. J. Ourso College of Business, through the LSU Prior Learning Assessment Program.
Young Entrepreneurs Academy Baton Rouge is made possible by the Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce, Louisiana Economic Development and the LSU Stephenson Department of Entrepreneurship and Information Systems. The application for the 2019- 2020 Young Entrepreneurs Academy is available at Young Entrepreneurs Academy br.org/apply, and the deadline to apply is Aug. 15.
East Baton Rouge 4-H’er Sarah Israel examines livestock show grooming bags she sells to others who show chickens and rabbits. Sarah started her business, Triple S Show Supplies, after completing the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Baton Rouge program that prepares youth for business ownership. Photo by Johnny Morgan/LSU AgCenter
East Baton Rouge 4-H’er Sarah Israel displays the grooming bag that inspired her to start a business, Triple S Show Supplies, to develop and sell a more user-friendly bag for those showing chickens and rabbits. She said the bag she had been using was hard to manage while preparing her birds and rabbits for show. Sarah recently completed the first Young Entrepreneurs Academy Baton Rouge program, where she received $800 seed money to start her business. Photo by Johnny Morgan/LSU AgCenter
East Baton Rouge 4-H’er Sarah Israel shows off one of the roosters she shows in area livestock shows. Sarah recently completed the first Young Entrepreneurs Academy Baton Rouge program, where she received $800 seed money to start her first business. Her business, Triple S Show Supplies, sells grooming bags for those who show chickens and rabbits. Photo by Johnny Morgan/LSU AgCenter