Teen entrepreneur Alleanah Hancock-Jammeh, the first place winner of CEOs of Tomorrow’s Fall 2020 These Teens Mean Busine$$ Incubator, launched her business “Inspiration to Health” to address obesity.
“I got the inspiration for my mom because she struggles with obesity,” Alleanah, an eighth-grader at Velma Hamilton Middle School on Madison’s west side, told Madison365. “And I thought it would be really impactful if I chose something that hit home and was personal to me.”
Alleanah is one of the young CEOs of the CEOs of Tomorrow program, which “offers engaging and hands-on social entrepreneurship education workshops and courses for young innovators and problem solvers who are inspired to shape and influence their world.”
As part of her “Inspirations to Health,” Alleanah sold her Health Box for $12 each, which included a resistance band, stress ball and water bottle. She donated 10 percent of her profits to the Wisconsin Obesity Prevention Initiative’s Wisconsin Partnership Program. She wanted to tackle this issue and find a realistic way to help people.
“I had a draft about what I was going to do and then when I narrowed it down, I kind of did research on how these objects help impact you in a positive way,” Alleanah told Madison365. “The stress ball helps relieve stress, which I thought, for people who are struggling with obesity or anybody, it’s really good to relieve stress. And then the resistance band because lifting weights may be a little difficult for some people. I thought resistance is another way to get your physical activity in each day without straining muscles and hurting yourself.
“Then the water bottle, well, you have to stay hydrated,” she continued. “You know it’s really good to get a certain amount of water in your body so then you working out won’t be as much of a hassle because water is very important. The business card had exercise videos on how to use the resistance band and exercises you could do with it.”
Alleanah spent time planning this business before she entered the Pitch Contest where talented entrepreneurial teens from CEOs of Tomorrow’s These Teens Mean Busine$$ Incubator pitch, launch and test their business ideas created to promote positive change in their communities. Throughout the pandemic, she balanced her school work and the tasks that came along with creating a business.
“I just wanted to say that it was very time-consuming and it was very stressful,” Alleanah said. “But it was really worth it because when I heard that I won, and when I was, you know, presenting my business, it was really fun to do it, now that I look back on it. It may have been a little stressful, but it was really worth the time and effort I put into my business to make it what it was.”
Alleanah has been a part of CEOs for Tomorrow, who are celebrating its 5th anniversary this year, for a few years now and appreciates her experience in the program. She likes that she is always learning new things and there are people who teach new tactics on how to build skills. This program has been inspirational to her and helped her grow as an entrepreneur.
“So it has been an absolute pleasure to watch her, not only grow as she’s been in our program, since she was in fourth grade, but also see her blossom and mature as a young entrepreneur,” Roxie Hentz, CEO and founder of CEOs of Tomorrow, told Madison365. “Alleanah, as you probably notice, is extremely gifted and very passionate about everything she does. She gives her one hundred percent. And it is our pleasure to have had the opportunity to work with her now and to continue to work with her.”
With the Health Box, Alleanah hopes people start to live a healthier lifestyle that inspires them to push through what they’re going through. She hasn’t decided whether she has a future in business, but she is open to more learning and growing, which are steps in the right direction.
“I’m not sure at this time, there’s still a lot to go,” she said. “But as I learn new things, maybe I’ll have a better concept of what I could do to build that bigger business. I’m still thinking of ideas and ways to grow. And I’m still learning myself. So I’ll just have to see where life takes me.”