Local teen among finalists in Rod Coleman Teen Entrepreneur Program

Thu, 06/05/2008 - 2:24pm
By: The Citizen

While most area teens spent their spring break sleeping-in, playing video games or shooting hoops, Riverwood High School freshman Jabari Simmons, 14, joined a group of enthusiastic students who spent their spring break brainstorming, researching and developing business ideas. Twenty-three teens participated in the Rod Coleman’s Foundation Youth Entrepreneur Camp and competed for venture capital for their start-up ideas. Over the course of the business camp, the students engaged in a “60 hour mini MBA” according to Juan Casimiro, the business trainer who facilitated the workshop. The students were charged with developing a business idea, researching, developing a marketing plan and then making a presentation before a panel of judges which included Atlanta Falcons Rod Coleman and two other local business men.

Jabari Simmons, son of Gary and Sherrie Simons, was selected as one of the six finalists in the business plan competition for his business plan for J-BO Jeans. His business concept targets fashion conscientious teens.

“J-BO jeans and apparel will be fashionable, affordable and respectful,” said Jabari Simmons. “My clothing line will also appeal to parents who want fashionable jeans for their sons that don’t ‘sag in the waist.’” Over the course of the camp, Simmons researched his target market and developed the logo, slogan and advertising materials. In the coming months, he will confirm his manufacturers and suppliers and begin seeking additional investors for J-BO Jeans. He hopes to launch his apparel line by 2009.

In addition to being a finalist, Simmons received the Most Valuable Entrepreneur: Eye of the Tiger Award for being tenacious and focused.

For the past six years, Simmons and his brother Addae, 10, have been making and selling their own line of gourmet treats including assorted mint chocolates, peanut butter cups, mini crunch bars and classic oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Proceeds from their business helps fund their academic enrichment and cultural travels including a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Ghana, West Africa to celebrate Ghana’s 50th anniversary of independence in 2007. To inquire about their gourmet treats or get more information about J-BO Jeans, contact the Simmons family at 770-774-0039.

Simmons is a rising sophomore at Riverwood High School where he is enrolled in the International Studies Magnet Program. His academic focus is global studies and entrepreneurism. Simmons has been a kidpreneur and president of Brave Warrior Enterprises since he was six. He has been a youth member of the Atlanta Business League for several years. Under the tutelage of their parents, Jabari and Addae Simmons are learning the concept of “self determination through entrepreneurism.”

The Teen Entrepreneur Camp was sponsored by the Rod Coleman Foundation which is founded and directed by NFL Atlanta Falcons player Rod Coleman. Go to www.rodcolemanfoundation.org for more info.

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