Cornerstone Bank mentors future entrepreneurs at Gateways Academy in Shrewsbury

Cornerstone Bank recently partnered with Gateways Academy, Inc., a small, private school in Shrewsbury, to support its small business program. In addition to donating a per-student stipend for materials, Cornerstone Bank’s Community Relations Manager, Nicole DiGregorio, along with employees from the finance, commercial, and marketing departments, provided weekly instruction to the students for business plan development and marketing.

“We gave each student $20 to create and sell a product at the school’s December 14 craft fair,” said DiGregorio. “I visited Gateways Academy once a week for 14 weeks, helping each student create a business plan that included a logo, tagline, target audience, budget, supplies list and product pricing. I loved seeing the confidence and excitement building in each student as they worked on their projects. We look forward to returning for more programs next school year.”

In addition to the business plan, DiGregorio taught the students about resources available to help support small businesses, conducted class-wide brainstorming, helped the students create advertising for the craft fair and worked with them on problem-solving skills. At the craft fair on December 14, students sold their products, raising over $1,200 that was donated back to the school for other programs.

“It is an honor for us to support innovative programs like this one at Gateways Academy and spark inspiration for future entrepreneurs,” said Cornerstone Bank CEO Todd Tallman. “The school is one of 70 different local organizations we initiated or renewed partnerships with over the past year.”