Sweet Dreams CI

Sweet Dreams: Creekside Maple Syrup

Karen Popovich, Saint Michael’s College, Virginie Pioche Khare, Eckerd College, Kristin Juel, Saint Michael’s College
January 19, 2021
North America
Entrepreneurship, Accounting & Finance, Strategy & General Management
3 pages
Women-owned small business, entrepreneurship, Forecasting, spreadsheet modeling
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.7)
Average rating: 

Amy Hill had hiked to the top of her 44-acre property with her six-year-old son and was having second thoughts about starting a woman-owned small seasonal business, Creekside Maple Syrup. She had been approved for a $55,000 start-up loan at 5% interest for five years. She and her husband, Matt, had been considering this option for some time and had a post-and-beam barn that could house the new operation. Due to Matt’s job requiring travel, Amy knew she would have the sole responsibility to run the seasonal business. Second thoughts and questions that were on her mind included, “It’s not about making a ton of money because it is part-time, and I have my college teaching position. It is about building a future for our growing family and farming our land. Still, I wonder if we are taking on too much risk? What if the climate changes and the sugaring season shortens? Will we ever earn our investment back and turn a profit?”

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Examine reasons, both financial and non-financial, to become an entrepreneur of a women-owned small family business
  2. Evaluate the benefits of forecasting and planning for starting a small family business
  3. Develop, analyze and interpret a decision model for a five-year forecast based on “good” and “poor” climate scenarios
  4. OPTIONAL: Compare scenarios of “good” vs. “poor” production forecasts through Net Present Value (NPV) calculation