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The Future of Business: FCCF’s Annual Business Competition

Sally Nichols, Social Media Coordinator

June 19, 2017

DUE WEST – On May 2, 2017, the Freshwater Coast Community Foundation (FCCF) and Erskine College were proud to host the second annual Business Plan Competition.

During this competition, students from various local high schools gathered at Erskine’s campus to present innovative entrepreneurial proposals in PowerPoint presentations to a panel of judges.

The preliminary round judges included Greg Graber, owner of GT Building in Due West; Paul Bell, CEO of The Renaissance in Due West; Lora Healey, former marketing executive at Capsugel in Greenwood; Jack Abraham, Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Erskine College; and Harold Prince, member of the Abbeville County Council and general manager of Prince Motor Company in Abbeville.

The judges for the final round of the competition included Chanda Ferguson, owner of Uptown Girls in Abbeville; Mark Meyers, project manager and marketing coordinator for Abbeville First Bank; and Matt Wiggins, area manager of the Small Business Development Center in Greenwood.

Assisting in the competition was the Business Strategy class of Tracy McCurry, Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Erskine College. This class not only helped plan and execute the event, they also participated in timekeeping, monitoring rooms, escorting competitors, and more.

In order for high school students to compete in this event, they had to first win their individual high school business plan competitions. The students presented their PowerPoint business proposals to their high school teachers, and, upon winning, submitted their PowerPoint proposals to Erskine College. The Business Strategy class then reviewed each proposal and ranked the high school competitors for the preliminary competition.

After the preliminary competition that morning in Reid Hall, the remaining participants were escorted to the final round held in Bowie Arts Center that afternoon. The final competition was followed by the awards ceremony.

The winner of the competition was Landon Gray with BGFT Apparel from Crescent High School in Iva. Landon plans to attend Wofford College where he will participate in the Entrepreneurial Launch Program to further expand his business. Following Gray was Hope Peeler in second place with The Red Elephant Café from Dixie High School in Due West. In third place was Payton Busbee from Abbeville high School with Bountiful Baskets, and Carson Burgin with Bubble Unlimited from Crescent High School.

All participating high schools were proudly represented by superb candidates who will surely change the future of business for good. The FCCF looks forward to the great things these young men and women will accomplish, and is hopeful for a bright future for all participants and their businesses.