McPherson Chamber to host Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge

McPherson Chamber to host Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge

As a NetWork Kansas Entrepreneurship Community, the McPherson Chamber of Commerce will host the 2019 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC). The event will be held at the McPherson Opera House, 219 S. Main on Wednesday, December 4th. The YEC is designed to give students a hands-on entrepreneurship experience. The competition will consist of students preparing a written business plan or executive summary, a “tradeshow” booth, and an elevator pitch or presentation.

“The YEC Series helps students learn valuable life skills such as creative problem solving and confidently presenting their ideas to others. The classroom learning and mentorship they receive in preparation of competing in their local YEC Series event can also help students feel more connected to their communities, and help them identify a need they could fill in their own city or county,” says Amara Kniep, Product Manager, E-Community Programs.

Taylor Stucky’s McPherson High School Business and Entrepreneurship students, will be participating in the 2019 McPherson YEC. We look forward to learning about the exciting business ideas of 14 creative students this year. Putting their ideas into motion, students will first create a 3-page business plan known as an executive summary. It addresses the financial requirement, cash flow and projected income as well as market research on how to reach the target market, potential growth, advertising and pricing strategy, to the management and legal structure of the business. Quite a daunting project for a high school student, but not for these students with their entrepreneurship mindset.

The local contest promotes students working as teams or individually and gives them experience in the process of making a business proposal. The students gain experience pitching their idea and answering questions in front of a panel of judges that consists of entrepreneurs, bankers and other business representatives. Going through the steps of creating a business proposal can help develop student’s entrepreneurial mindset and set them on the path of one day creating their own business. In addition, students will develop creativity, problem solving, business planning, research skills, organization, presentation skills and confidence.

Students will be scored on the 4 minute presentation to the panel of judges, the business plan/executive summary and their tradeshow booth. The first place winner will be awarded $750, second place $500 and third will receive $250. In addition to the prizes and recognition, the first place finisher has the opportunity to compete in the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge at Kansas State University in Manhattan. This event will include the top young entrepreneurs from schools across the state.

The inaugural McPherson YEC was held in 2018 and made a lasting impression on Debbie Hawkinson, executive director of the McPherson Chamber. “I had the opportunity to visit with the MHS students at the 2018 YEC Competition tradeshow and was so impressed with their completely unique and essential business ideas, as well as the professional and confident manner that they presented themselves. From the very well thought out business plans and marketing materials, to their effective communication skills, Taylor Stucky’s MHS Business and Entrepreneurship students, blew me away!” commented Hawkinson.

Join us to learn more about our enthusiastic and creative local youth entrepreneurs at this years’ McPherson YEC on Wednesday, December 4, 2019. Parents, family, educators and the public is invited to attend the tradeshow portion of the event from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to cast their vote for People’s Choice. The event will conclude with an award lunch scheduled for 11:15 a.m. The cost of the lunch is $15.00 per person and reservations are required by calling the Chamber at 241-3303 by Monday, December 2nd.

For more information, contact Debbie Hawkinson, McPherson Chamber of Commerce at 620-241-3303 or For more information about NetWork Kansas or the E-Community Partnership, visit The YEC Series is a NetWork Kansas program, presented in partnership with the Kansas State University Center for Entrepreneurship and the Kansas Masons to provide prize money to YEC event winners and access to the state-wide competition, the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge.