The yearly Triple Bottom Line Business Idea Contest hosted by Kuyper brings teams of local high school students to campus to pitch their business concepts to a panel of judges.
Marc Andreas, program director and professor in Kuyper’s Business Leadership Department, explained the significance of the triple bottom line.
“The triple bottom line means Christians in business have social and environmental responsibilities as well as financial ones,” Andreas said. “Our Business Leadership students learn they actually have three bottom lines to be concerned with: people, planet and profit.”
The eighth annual event was sponsored by Nederveld Inc. and Lumbermen’s Inc., two local businesses that Andreas said share Kuyper’s values.
“Both of these wonderful companies value the triple bottom line themselves. They’re great models and examples for our Business Leadership students,” Andreas told attendees.
Andreas explained that the contest was created to give high school students a taste of being in the Business Leadership program at Kuyper. When he teaches dual-enrolled business classes at local high schools, he introduces the idea of the triple bottom line and presents the opportunity to participate in the contest. Those accepted into the contest are paired with a student mentor from Kuyper, who guides them as they refine their business ideas and progress in the contest.
Each of the contest’s top three winners received a three-fold monetary reward, with portions of their winnings going to themselves, their school and a scholarship to Kuyper College, should they choose to attend after graduation.
Throughout the semester, about 50 teams of local high schoolers submitted their pitches through the Kuyper website, and 10 made it to the final round of the contest.
The first-place winner was Planted with Love, a greeting card business featuring handmade paper infused with wildflower seeds. Other ideas included a personal care product subscription service, a digital textbook library and a skin salve company.
“Our God has created us as such creative individuals, and each of the contestants tonight showcased that,” Andreas said.