Fostering Entrepreneurship in Youth

Giving back to build a future generation of business owners.

Editor’s Note: In addition to running Road Warrior Creative, Amber is a founding member and Chairwoman of Allied Women Entrepreneurs, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving the Northern Colorado community.  Giving back is one of Road Warrior Creative’s core values.  This post dives more into Amber’s passion for supporting and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit in others.


One of my motivators in founding Allied Women Entrepreneurs was to provide a venue and organization that would not only help existing business owners but which would also encourage more women to start and grow businesses.  As someone who went from being a stay-at-home mom with a very small part-time freelancing business to running a company with my husband that fully supports not just our family, but also several employees and contributes to others and the community, I want other women to know that they can do big things too.

If we want to support the creation of new businesses, we need to help youth in our community to know there are other paths after high school or college beyond just getting a job. Click To Tweet

Increasingly, it has become apparent to me that fostering an entrepreneurial mindset starts much earlier.  If we want to support the creation of new businesses, we need to help the youth in our community to know that there are other paths after high school or college beyond just getting a job.  They can create their own job.

This means showing them that, not only is business ownership a viable path, but also giving them the tools to do it.  This is important for all our children, but especially our daughters who might not otherwise consider entrepreneurship as an option.

Volunteering to Teach Entrepreneurship to Kids

I teach an after-school extracurricular at Fort Collins Montessori School called “Entrepreneur Club.”  Children as young as first grade participate, working together to create business plans and execute business ideas.  Last year, they created two separate profitable businesses.  This year, they are in the process of creating two more.  It’s so much fun watching them catch the entrepreneurial bug, even at this most basic level.  I highly recommend seeing if your child’s school has a similiar program and if not, consider starting one yourself!

fort collins montessori school entrepreneur club

 

Looking for more ways to help foster entrepreneurship in youth?

Here are two great opportunities for the kids in our community to learn more about starting a business.  If you have or know kids who might be interested in participating, please spread the word.  Want to play a bigger role? Read on for more information on how you can help by mentoring or supporting as a business owner – I’d love to see other businesses out in the community providing positive examples of sucessful entrepreneurs.

Larimer County Workforce Center’s Annual Young Entrepreneur Tournament

The Young Entrepreneur Tournament (YET)  is an opportunity for participants ages 18 and under to create, learn, and grow an idea into a business plan. They then take that business plan into a pitch competition for an opportunity to compete for over $2,000 in total prize money.

The tournament begins on April 1, and takes place over four consecutive Saturdays. The final pitch event will be held during the evening of Saturday, April 29.  Participants spend 20 hours developing their ideas into feasible and attainable business plans. Participants will have the opportunity to meet with local entrepreneurs to help build their confidence and grow their business.

A pre-tournament information and idea session will occur on Wednesday, March 22 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at 200 West Oak Street in the Larmier County Courthouse Offices. Please join us as we explore entrepreneurship and brainstorm ideas to pursue throughout the tournament. Pizza and snacks will be provided, and families are welcome to attend.

To learn more and view videos from last year’s tournament visit:  http://larimerworkforce.org/young-adults/young-entrepreneur-tournament-media/

Students may also apply directly at www.larimerworkforce.org/yet   The deadline to apply is March 15, 2017.  If you have any additional questions, please contact Andrew Minor at aminor@larimer .org or 970-498-6083

Youth Entrepreneurship Tournament Flier front Youth Entrepreneurship Tournament Flier back

Thompson School District Entrepreneurship Program

“It blew me away!  They’ve learned such valuable life skills.” – Nanci Garnand, Thompson School District Entrepreneurship Mentor and Pitch Night Judge.

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The Thompson School District in Loveland and Berthoud is proud to offer the Entrepreneurship Program, a collaborative real-world capstone learning experience for high school students. In this year-long course, students create and develop their own product or service while learning the skills needed to develop and run a business.  The course culminates in Pitch Night that puts student teams in front of investors to pitch their innovative ideas and possibly win funding to turn their business plans into reality!  Throughout the year, students gain first-hand knowledge from business experts in the community and each team is partnered with a mentor, who provides them with valuable entrepreneurship advice and encouragement.

For more information about this program or to become involved as a guest speaker or mentor, please contact Susan Scott, Business Community Coordinator, at 970-613-5083 or susan.scott@thompsonschools.org.  Learn more online at http://thompson.k12.co.us/Page/7401 or at https://www.facebook.com/TSDEntrepreneurship/.

Thompson School District Entrepreneurial Program