Highland Community College played host to the Northeast Kansas Entrepreneurship Academic during the week of June 10. Students from Doniphan, Brown and Atchison counties gathered for an intensive 3-day workshop focusing on skills needed to start a business. Students learn about topics critical for entrepreneurship including; marketing, financial literacy, teambuilding, networking, compliance, risk management and analysis.
Teresa McAnerney, facilitator at Northeast Kansas Enterprise Facilitators along with instructor Loren Ziegler, has been coordinating the event since the partnership with Highland began in 2010.
“We have kids from ninth to twelfth grade in the group. They come with a desire to learn about what it takes to start a business and we do everything we can to help them clarify what that means.”
During the week students also prepare a business plan for either an existing business or an idea they have. Ideas are then pitched to a panel of judges for seed money at the end of the week. Judges included Cindy Davis, Library Director at Highland Community College, Rebecca Johnson, Director of Marketing at Highland and Dr. David Bryant, Assistant Professor of Business at Benedictine College in Atchison. Braeden Worsham of Atchison claimed the top prize for his fundraising business pitch.
“Students get a taste of college life by staying on the Highland campus in the residences halls, doing work, and studying in HCC library. In addition, they attend events in the region and meet with community leaders, developers and educators. This year students were able to a visit to the Kauffman Foundation and the executive offices of the Kansas City Royals and Chiefs Organizations in Kansas City,” McAnerney continued.
Students ended the week with an awards dinner and a new perspective on entrepreneurship.
McAnerney noted, “these students leave with a better picture of how to start and run a business and are often thinking bigger than when they came in. We are just happy to be able to facilitate a one-of-a-kind learning experience that helps our students and Northeast Kansas grow!”