A Unique Tote Bag Business Experience


​Why don’t we run a business in Business? In the first semester of 2022, Year 11 Business HL students, under the guidance of Ms. Joubert, ran a unique tote bag business that enabled classroom knowledge to be applied to the real world. From sketching the very first pages of a business plan to making a solid profit, here is what the students went through…

After generating and pitching a variety of potential business ideas in groups, the final idea of selling tote bags, printed with QACI student artwork was chosen. With an exciting idea set in place, the class conducted primary and secondary market research to gather information on consumers and the market - Primary research consisted of interviewing consumers, surveying the Year 11 cohort, and focus group discussions (shoutout to Mr. Bryce!), whereas secondary research included business research of unit prices, potential suppliers, and consumer data. The finding of our consumer preferences gave us a direction to selecting our artist and supplier; Year 11 student Shafa's eye-catching "Miku March" design was chosen as the final print for our tote bags, while local screen-printing business Silk and Squeeg was chosen as our local business supplier.

A day excursion to Silk and Squeeg later became the highlight of this project, where we not only experienced the physical process of screen printing onto tote bags, but also gained valuable insight into how a real-life small business operated. We managed to secure an initial order of 100 tote bags with help from the investment of QACI, and rolled out the first successful round of sales on QACI Open Day.

Following the excursion I asked a few questions from peers about their Business experience.

What excites you about being a business student?

"Something that really excites me about studying business is looking at really successful businesses and analysing their strategies and other aspects of the business."

- Nestor

"Learning what goes on behind the scenes and business and step taken for businesses how they work and base decisions off."

- Amelia (Lia)

"Being a business student has its many perks, it is a very fun environment, and you get to converse with your peers and teachers and help each other gain more knowledge about the business world."

- Illiandra

What did you learn from the tote bag project?

"How to apply business knowledge into the real world , learning about steps in creating business and selling to customers. The most memorable moment was going to Silk and Squeeg and getting to print our own tote bags, seeing and learning the workings of small business and how their values apply in their work, it was truly a rewarding experience."

- Amelia (Lia)

"I think the biggest take away from the Tote Bag business project was, seeing how the IB Business Syllabus actually applies in the real world."

- Nestor

"How a small business works, in this case Silk and Squeeg, and how it’s structured and managed in order to complete orders. I learnt that a small business can be relaxing, but at times it can also be stressful - especially if the business only has limited people; making work harder and sometime more difficult. However, if it’s a business you are very passionate about, the whole experience just becomes 100x times better."

- Illiandra

Advice for year 10 students studying/looking to study business?

"Make the most of it, research a business you are interested and have fun. Business is fun if you embrace the creativity behind business pricing, product or services"

- Amelia (Lia)

"Study hard and don’t leave anything for later, do it now."

- Nestor

"Taking Business is a great subject to have passion for and to expand your horizons and really understand a new way of approaching things. Embrace your inner Business self – yay!"

 - Illiandra

...article written by Katrina Dang, Year 11 Business

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Last reviewed 02 June 2022
Last updated 02 June 2022