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O.C. BUSINESS PLUS | HEARD ON THE BEAT / SMALL BUSINESS

16-Year-Old Comes Up With a Plan to Make a Dream Come True

November 10, 1999|MARC BALLON | Marc Ballon covers small business and entrepreneurial issues for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-7439 and at marc.ballon@latimes.com

Santa Ana resident Jane Chung, 16, fantasizes about studying business at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. The Foothill High School junior may have taken a step toward that dream by recently winning a prestigious business plan competition.

Chung, along with three other teenage girls, won an international contest sponsored by Independent Means Inc., which provides business services and products, including videos and books, for young women. Her victory earned her a $2,500 cash prize as well as an all-expense-paid trip to Washington D.C. in October for the awards ceremony.

In her 10-page plan, Chung sketched a blueprint for Learnbrite Edutech, an education software company. She penned the plan in a month, spending hours at the library and online doing research about the education market and networking software.

Instead of hanging out at malls or watching TV, Chung has been working. At 13, she started a Web site design company, which she publicized over the Internet. That same year she landed a summer job painting T-shirts. Even then, Chung, whose tastes run to Gucci and Armani, knew what she wanted to do.

"I love business," she said. "It's a lot more flexible and interesting than law, which is so cut-and-dried. I kind of consider it a type of art. It's very pliable, and you can do anything with it."

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