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Pint-sized PS 329 ‘entrepreneurs’ become business owners

Brooklyn Daily

Savvy PS 329 students concluded their Empowering Young Entrepreneurs Program by holding a grand opening sale on Jan. 25 to showcase their new business skills, hawking decorated supplies, revamped bric-a-brac, and healthy munchies to raise a cool $1,200 for the Coney Island school — and impress Mom and Dad with their commercial wits.

“Bling” was the buzz word at the eye-popping stall run by second graders Jonathan Asante, David Mozeb, Alycia Byrd Richardson, Anaya Chandler and Lisa Lodge, where customers snapped up pencils decorated with glitter and sparkles. Nearby, 10-year-olds Kiajah Wiggins and Justin Richardson sported “I am a young entrepreneur” T-shirts and hustled healthy salads to teachers. And 7-year-old Diana Duchimaza was so inspired by a pretty bookmark she bought that she opened up a book right on the spot.

But the goods were far from just random objects.

“Students searched for a need within the school and created a business around that,” said Principal Salema Marbury. “There was a lot of research and mathematics involved.”

Marbury formed the program three months ago to teach youngsters the ABCs of business, such as devising a business plan, creating a product, and then marketing and selling it, with democratically elected student chief executive officers leading the charge.

“It’s really important for children to have options when they grow up,” the principal added. “The American Dream is what our country is based on.”

Marbury picked her husband’s business brains for the project — he owns a barbershop in Coney Island and has worked with professional sports apparel lines — although she wants to recruit members of the local business community to assist and fund the program, moving forward.

The money from the sale will help to buy air conditioners for the school, but there’s no price to be placed on the thrill her students are getting out of starting their homespun ventures, the principal bragged.

“They are having the time of their lives!”

Reach reporter Shavana Abruzzo at or by calling (718) 260-2529.

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