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Valley Focus | Northridge

Young Entrepreneurs Sell Wares at CSUN

July 28, 1998|EDWARD M. YOON

Twelve-year-old William Myers has a keen business sense when it comes to what his fellow students want.

William discovered that his peers cannot get enough of his homemade sour candy.

"I sold out in five minutes," said the Northridge boy, who will be entering the seventh grade in the fall.

He was one of 20 young entrepreneurs who set up shop at the "International Marketplace," a miniature society organized by the students enrolled in "Who's the Boss?" and "Wall Street Kids," two business classes offered by Cal State Northridge's summer academic program for those entering grades three through seven.

The marketplace, set up under shaded areas between Jerome Richfield Hall and Sierra Hall, offered a cornucopia of candies, baked goods, homemade jewelry, books, sporting goods, trading cards, stationery and other items.

Dollars and cents were not accepted at the marketplace. Neither were yen, pounds or deutsche marks.

The only acceptable currencies were "jordans," "splish splashes," "nuggets" and "wall stocks," monetary notes developed by the four societies that make up the marketplace. The Golden and Wall Street societies were from the "Wall Street Kids" class, the Basketball and Swimming societies were students enrolled in "Who's the Boss?"

"In a sense, it's more like Europe than the United States," said Valerie Plaisance, who teaches both classes. "Each society is separate in and of itself and, on one day in the summer, they get together.

"By the end of the day, they will have wallets filled with mixed currency."

As in real life, some businesses in the mini-society were more successful than others. Plaisance, however, stressed that profit is not the goal.

"It's not a contest," she said. "The purpose of the International Marketplace is really to teach economics on a level that they can understand and apply everything that they have learned in a real-life situation."

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