The new school year starts early in the Grand Valley! With classes set to start on August 3rd many of us are focused on back to school activities including registration, class schedules, buying school supplies and much more. As business people, however, I’m going to ask you to add one more focus to your month. Help us identify the students that have the passion and the desire to be CEOs of their own companies by next spring!
This month the Chamber along with its partners, School District 51, Western Colorado Community College, Business Incubator Center and Mesa County Workforce Center will be accepting applications for the Young Entrepreneurs’ Academy. Students between the ages of 11 and 18 are eligible for the program which starts on September 29th and ends with graduation on May 10th.
Students spend three hours after school each week in class or consultation with business leaders and will need to commit an additional five to seven hours outside the classroom to be successful at starting their own businesses. The ideal candidate is not necessarily someone who has an idea already but a student that is intrigued with the idea of owning their own for-profit entity or impacting a social issue and is willing to work hard to see results.
An information pizza party for interested students and their parents will be held on Thursday, August 13th, 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM in the Chamber Board Room and applications will be due no later than August 27th.
The career choice of being a small business owner is not usually on the radar screen of students or teachers but for many of us in the Grand Valley that is the career we ultimately embarked upon. We know how rewarding (and yes, challenging) that can be but these kids don’t. This is one way we can help foster the entrepreneurial spirit that is the backbone of our economy while helping hone business skills among our youth. I want to thank all of our many sponsors, business instructors and volunteers that have stepped forward already to help with this third year of the program. I also want to encourage those that have an interest in getting involved with sponsorship dollars or volunteer hours to contact Diane at the Chamber office for more details as we can always use more help and financial support, much of which is used as seed capital for these fledgling student owned businesses.
All of us have kids, friends of our kids, neighbors, and employees with children that may be good candidates for YEA! Help us identify those young people and encourage them to learn more the program and whether it may be a good fit. Invite them to the pizza party and/or provide the Chamber office with their names and contact information so that we can reach out to them. You and they will be glad you did!
Jeff Franklin, Chairman
Click here to download full version of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce August 2015 Newsletter.