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EKU Sponsors Successful Entrepreneur Program

EKU Sponsors Successful Entrepreneur Program
Boyle County High School students graduate from Chamber's Entrepreneur Program

DANVILLE, Ky. - Twenty-three Boyle County High School students graduated from the Fall 2015 Entrepreneur Program on Monday, Dec. 14.

The Danville-Boyle County Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with Boyle County High School, began offering an entrepreneurship class to students in the fall of 2014. The class gives students an opportunity to start and launch a real business over the course of the fall semester.

"The partnership between the Chamber and the school system is one where we may not see tangible results in new business growth for some years, but we do see students gain speaking skills, learn how to develop a business idea and write a business plan," said Chamber Executive Director Paula Fowler. "The economy of our county grows through small business development, and programs like this can help students develop the necessary skills to become future entrepreneurs in our community."

The program is open to all Boyle County High School students.

"We now have graduated 48 students through our collaborative efforts, while meeting state core curriculum requirements for our schools," Fowler said.

The Entrepreneur Program was designed to guide students through the process of starting their own business. The program is a one-hour, one-credit, class offered each day where students create a business with the support of business mentors, lawyers, accountants, insurance risk owners, and local entrepreneurs.

"The students have really grown from August to December," said Boyle County High School Teacher and Entrepreneur Program Instructor David Christopher. "From a teacher standpoint, there's nothing better than to see students excited about the curriculum and excited about possibly starting their own business one day."

During the course of the program, students also hear from CEOs of companies, learn about franchise businesses through local field trips, and present their business ideas to local business investors.

Lisa Knetsche, business manager for Pantera Management Group LLC, the business entity of the Spine Center of Central Kentucky and the Bluegrass Brace Shop LLC, was a local business investor for this year's group of students. Knetsche said she volunteered to be an investor because she believes small business is the backbone of the American economy and she wants to be involved in helping to nurture the development of small businesses.

"This program exposes students to the process of starting a business; developing an idea; thinking through the economic viability of that idea; creating a business plan; and understanding how to research the economic elements of a business," Knetsche said. "The program expands the student's view of what is possible and gives them the hard skills and confidence to actually start their own business one day."

Graduating students are: Clay Cocanougher, Matthew Poynter, Blake Carpenter, Brandon Scott, Jordan Farthing, Will Gibson, Jacob Lassiter, Brennen Carlsen, Alex Ayers, Tommy Toadvine, Remington Foster, James Hogue, Miguel Luster, Tristan Harp, Tevin Kavanaugh, John Tyler Masters, Fisher Evans, Anthony Klein, Adam Steinhauer, Savannah Palmer, Ava Cullen, Ashley Smith, and Kayleigh Novak.

Kayleigh Novak was the overall winner for her Starlight Valley Rabbitry business plan and presentation. She received a $1,000 college scholarship.

The Entrepreneur Program is sponsored by Bob Allen Motor Mall and LG&E-KU. The Business Presentation Panel Investors are The Spine Center of Central Kentucky, Pap's Foods, RE/MAX Elite Bluegrass Team, Fort Knox Federal Credit Union and FermSolutions. The CEO Roundtable Sponsor is Edward Jones, Joe Bunch and Mack Kersey, Financial Advisors. Scholarship sponsors are Quality Inn, Major's Floor Covering LLC, Eastern Kentucky University, and the Danville-Boyle County Challenge Foundation.

Contact Information

For more information on the Entrepreneur Program, contact the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership

(859) 236-2361 X 121

Published on January 06, 2016

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