Youth entrepreneurs kansas is a charitable organization with a simple mission: to provide entrepreneurial education to students. The organization inspires students to overcome barriers and seize opportunities. The organization works with schools to provide business classes that help students start a business. In addition, they host various entrepreneurial events that bring students and entrepreneurs together.
One of these events is the Business Plan Competition. In the competition, students create a business plan and present it to an expert panel of judges. Prize money is awarded to the winning team. The competition includes a business plan, trade show booth, elevator pitch and presentation. Judges from the public sector, educators and local entrepreneurs evaluate the entries.
Youth Entrepreneurs’ mission is to provide economic opportunity to at-risk youth through education, mentoring, and scholarships. The program targets primarily under-served school districts. The program does not charge school districts for its classes. The Topeka school district has worked with the organization to train a single teacher a year. In return, the organization provides classrooms, guest speakers, field trips, and scholarship opportunities.
The competition was sponsored by the Kansas Masonic Foundation. Students from various high schools and universities compete for prizes totaling $75,000! The competition teaches students about the importance of entrepreneurship while providing real world experience. Lewis Masonic Lodge judges the teams. The winners are awarded a prize of $250 to cover their travel expenses.
Students who attend the program are compensated for their work and also receive college scholarships. They also become lifelong members of the YEP alumni network. This network includes mentors, past students, and some of the best creative minds in the Midwest. The program goes far beyond traditional internships and offers students unique opportunities to grow their business.
Although entrepreneurship isn’t the ideal solution for all Youth entrepreneurs kansas, it is a great option for some of them. In fact, Luc Lalande, director of Carleton University’s Innovation Transfer office, defines entrepreneurship as an 80-10-10 rule: while 80% of the population is content with a traditional job, a mere 10% of the population will be involved in entrepreneurial activities at a young age. This 10% of the population has the potential to become an entrepreneur if given the proper training, encouragement, and environment.
The program began to take shape in November 2009. With Charles Koch’s blessing, associates at the foundation developed a high school free-market course and tested it with students. This course was the first step toward developing a viable curriculum. With the help of Koch’s top donors, a pilot version of the program was offered at the Wichita Collegiate School.
Although YE has similarities to Koch’s program, it is distinct. It teaches teens how to start their own small businesses. Students who have a passion for entrepreneurship can become successful businessmen and women. The program is similar to Koch’s and Singer’s program. However, both are based on a similar idea: the concept of self-sufficiency. By developing small businesses, teens can develop a strong work ethic and become self-sufficient.
Support and mentoring is critical to the success of a Youth entrepreneurs kansas. It helps to make the right connections, build confidence, and identify a team to work with. However, most youth entrepreneurship programs don’t provide much support after the initial year. Youth entrepreneurs need ongoing consultation to expand their business.
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