The 2021 YouthBiz competition was a different type of experience for the two local third place winners.

While she said she wouldn't run her own business in the future, Ella Leko (pictured below), a Grade Nine student at Weyburn Comprehensive School, said she still learned plenty about the whole process.

"I learned a lot of how to manage money better, and also to use a bunch of different of the computer apps that I hadn't seen," she noted. "I did make a poster that I had to figure out how to use an app on the computer."

Her business, Cookie Co., was theoretical, but she still had to work through all the aspects of the business, including the math.

Ella Leko

"I had to make like logos and figure out ways to advertise it, too, and then there's the business plan and income sheet," Leko added.


"So my business was not real. It was a bakery that sells a bunch of different types of cookies along with selling other items like ice creams," she shared. "I don't think that this would ever be something I would do just because I started this business in 6th Grade, the first time I did YouthBiz, so I wasn't necessarily interested in doing it anymore, seeing as I was just trying to improve it from the first time." 

"Instead, I would prefer some of the more creative aspects of it, like advertising and branding with maybe someone else's [business]."

While Ella said she will likely save her $150 prize money, Ember Sim, a Grade Six student at St. Michael School, said she will likely be putting hers toward more supplies for her continuing business.

Sim, who was making wearable products for sale from metal and rock, has some inventory, but takes mostly custom orders, for "Ember's Alley".

"It's an online business where I make things out of rocks, mostly jewelry, like necklaces and rings, but I also make things like magnets and bookmarks," she shared. "It was actually pretty hard and tricky in the beginning. But it was pretty fun and it helped me get a look at how hard it would be to actually run the business." 

"I think I might do it on the side. Already, with school and homework, it's enough, to do, so maybe I'll expand on it in the future."

Sim said the highlight of the project, for her, was, "making the website and the commercial, because I love doing video edits and things like that with technology." 

Creativity is, of course, a side of Sim that was met with practical, and lasting, resources and supplies.

"I love doing lots of crafts and using my creative side sometimes, and I was in a rock club and they taught me how to make lots of things, and then I learned how to do some other stuff on my own," she noted.

Sim added she used pre-polished rocks for her pieces, but she looks forward to tumbling some of her own in the future.

Find Sim's Facebook page HERE.