Mary Kay invests in high school entrepreneurship program

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / (monkeybusinessimages)
© Getty Images / (monkeybusinessimages)
Business leaders from the direct-sales beauty company will mentor students at Lewisville High school near Dallas, Texas. The project, which also has support from local government and a foundation, will teach students to build businesses in real time.

“Mary Kay has a rich history of encouraging women to follow their dreams by igniting their entrepreneurial spirits,” ​Sheryl Adkins-Green, chief marketing officer at Mary Kay, says in company media release announcing the project.

“In 1963, Mary Kay Ash founded her dream company with only $5,000 and a business plan,” ​notes Adkins-Green, adding, “We’re proud to continue honoring her legacy by investing in local future entrepreneurs who hope to follow in her footsteps.”

Not only are Mary Kay pros volunteering to work with some 75 students, the company has invested in the local entrepreneurship initiative as well. It’s also being supported by Lewisville city government and the M.R. & Evelyn Hudson Foundation.

“Lewisville High School students will benefit from the partnership with Mary Kay by seeing learning come to life,” ​believes Jeffrey Kajs, principal at the high school.

“Thisopportunity,"​ he says, "makes the learning tangible for students while providing them real-world experiences. Without Mary Kay, our students would only be able to read, hear or discuss entrepreneurship. With their partnership, the students are able to ‘do.’ In conjunction with the experiences, the mentoring from business leaders will last a lifetime and help shape so many students with their future.”

Group effort

“This is a great opportunity to encourage practical business thinking and innovative product development by the outstanding students of Lewisville High School,” ​Rudy Durham, Lewisville’s Mayor, tells the press.  “We welcome this partnership with [the school district], Mary Kay, and the M.R. & Evelyn Hudson Foundation. Together, we can help local students prepare for the highly competitive world they'll face after high school.”

The group effort is very much about promoting business leadership in the modern moment. Not only will it cultivate entrepreneurship among teenagers, it will teach what’s known as startup methodology. The method favors swift product development, testing various business models in the market, and iterative product releases as a way to find and build a product, a brand, a company that will scale in the current consumer climate.

Future proof

At the end of the entrepreneurship course, students will pitch their businesses to investors, according to the media release, which could allow some of the students to take not just learnings away from the experience but a growing business as well.

And the program itself is set to continue beyond this first session. “As part of the agreement between LISD and the City of Lewisville, the program can continue for up to five years, with an option to renew for an additional five years after 2023.” ​And funds cover ongoing use of the curriculum as well as startup monies for the student-led businesses.

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DeannaUtroske_Editor_CosmeticsDesign

Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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