top of page

About Us

Real World Learning Through Real Business Startup


Shawnee Mission West (SMW) High School is teaming up with the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation and schools throughout the district to promote real student owned businesses through We promote businesses owned by any student (K-12) enrolled in SMSD. (Students submit businesses here.) Educators are encouraged to align classwork with the needs of student business owners:

  • Use personal or persuasive essays on their website's About page (English/Language Arts);

  • Create financial forecasts to determine potential profit/loss (Mathematics);

  • Create products and offer services (Art/Career Technical);

  • Conduct research on their target market (Social Studies);

  • And more!


These opportunities align with the Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD) Strategic Plan. SMSD and other districts in our region are better preparing students for learning and work through Kauffman Foundation's Real World Learning. Together, we are equipping our learners and communities to thrive in a rapidly changing, increasingly connected and complex world. 


By 2030, all high school students across our region

graduate with

market value assets and a diploma, preparing them for

future work and learning.


From Classrooms to Community Storefronts...


SMSD works with industry partners to promote student entrepreneurs. Our first digital storefront is located at Oak Park Mall in Overland Park, Kansas. Mall visitors scan the QR code on the doors to access our website and connect with student owned businesses.


For additional information about classroom resources and educator partnerships that support student owned business startups, please contact Tiffany Dixon at

If you are a business professional who is interested in promoting and supporting student owned businesses, please contact Laura Harsch at

Read more at:

The Kansas City Star, January 2022

KC Biz Journal, December 2021

Shawnee Mission Post, December 2021

Shawnee Mission School District, February 2022

the harbinger at Shawnee Mission East, December 2021 

Market Value Assets (MVAs) Defined




Internships: Learners perform meaningful job tasks under the guidance of a qualified supervisor.


Client-Connected Projects: Learners analyze and solve authentic problems, working in collaboration with other learners and industry professionals.




High School learners earn nine or more hours of college-level credit, ideally representing a sequence of courses toward an industry-recognized degree or credential.




Learners earn IRCs based on current lists published by state education departments and will be reviewed with employers and validated for applicability and relevance.




Students identify a compelling social or market problem and mobilize resources to research and solve it. Leveraging input and support from multiple stakeholders, students iteratively analyze, prototype, implement, reflect, and adapt potential solutions. Outputs of MVA-level entrepreneurial experiences include a market and stakeholder research summary, a business plan that includes an assessment of costs and benefits associated with development or operation of their solution, and feedback from relevant external stakeholders obtained through exhibition or shark-tank type pitch opportunities.


SMW Viking Designs


SMW Viking Designs provides students in Business Management, Entrepreneurship, and the Digital Design course sequence with client-connected projects. Our Digital Design students also have access to Adobe Certification. For more information about Adobe certification, visit

The SMW Viking Designs' Pitch Competition also provides students in our Entrepreneurship and Business Management classes with an entrepreneurial experience under the guidance of external stakeholders. 

For more information about Real World Learning (RWL), visit

bottom of page