Youth Entrepreneurs Rise to the Challenge

Youth Entrepreneurs Rise to the Challenge

Although different, the annual Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge was unquestionably just as inspirational as past competitions. At the virtual 2020 YEC hosted by the McPherson Chamber of Commerce, students from the Business and Entrepreneurship Class at McPherson High School competed for prize money…and a good grade!

As a NetWork Kansas Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partner, the McPherson Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to host a local YEC competition. “It is a unique opportunity to discover the imaginative ideas of local entrepreneurship students” said executive director, Debbie Hawkinson.

Fourteen students from Mrs. Stucky’s classes, honed their business plan and submitted a 3-page executive summary. Their summaries included research on their competitors, information about their target market, structure of their business, production details of their product, marketing strategies, and a financial breakdown of revenue, operating expenses, and net income.

After impressing the judges with their executive summaries, the students gave a 4-minute presentation, including marketing graphics, by way of Zoom. The judges had the chance to ask questions and offer suggestions at the end of each presentation, and then turned in their scoring.

Hawkinson said it was quite an experience! “We learned what a “sneakerhead” is and how they fit into a niche market for shoes. Discovered that California and NY restaurants typically include an arcade section for the youngsters, and that competitive cheer is a growing sport. I am pretty sure everyone would agree that there is a need for an indestructible phone or tablet case. We also found out that Grace Witte has already launched her on-line business. Check out Decree Boutique on Instagram for teen apparel and accessories.”

The business ideas had potential, and each of the incredibly talented students had strong points, making it difficult to narrow down the leaderboard. Ultimately, the top three businesses were won by a very close margin. Third place, and a $250 check went to Adriana Garcia with the hourglass café. Second place was awarded to Hannah Wilson with Cloud 9 Boutique who won $500. The first-place finisher was Sydney Achilles, with Greens Health Grocer. Sydney received $750 and the opportunity to compete in the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge in April of 2021.

Get a glimpse of the businesses proposals in the fantastic video created by Mrs. Stucky at this link.

Congratulations to the next generation of business leaders. We hope you will pursue the path of entrepreneurship and put your ideas into motion.