Victory was sweet – literally – for Hayley Hoverter, a student at L.A.’s Downtown Magnets High School. She won the inaugural Roozt.com teen social entrepreneurship competition this month with a sugar packet made of water-soluble rice paper instead of regular paper.
The 15-year-old Hoverter, who grew up eating rice paper candy as a child, had noticed thousands of paper packets trashed daily.
“I thought I could do something about it,” she said.
The competition was the idea of Brent Freeman, co-founder and chief executive of daily deals site Roozt.com in El Segundo, who wants to inspire the next generation of socially conscious entrepreneurs. In September, before the launch of Roozt – which only promotes businesses designed to solve social problems – he volunteered as a mentor for a 10th-grade class at the downtown school’s Academy of Finance. He assigned three dozen students to develop a business plan centered on a cause.
The culmination came May 3, when three finalists presented their plans to a panel of judges at USC, where Hoverter took first prize.
Hoverter advanced to the regional finals of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship competition and could move on to a shot at a national prize of $10,000. She plans to donate a dollar from the sale of each box of her product to a tree-planting charity.
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