Youth Today. Entrepreneurs Tomorrow.
We often talk about entrepreneurship in stages—that is, what stage of growing your business are you in—Idea? Startup? Existing? Northeast Indiana is rich in resources for each of these stages. […]
We often talk about entrepreneurship in stages—that is, what stage of growing your business are you in—Idea? Startup? Existing? Northeast Indiana is rich in resources for each of these stages. But what about the stages, that occur even before those?
As our region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem grows stronger, and we become better at supporting our current entrepreneurs, it’s important that we remember we can do more. And in fact, we are doing more—we’re cultivating future entrepreneurs: our youth.
What we’re currently doing:
Organizations in Northeast Indiana are providing opportunities that shift and embrace young people’s mindsets entrepreneurially. Believe in a Dream’s Believe in Your Business program helps high school students to learn, practice and grow their entrepreneurial skills. Junior Achievement’s Be Entrepreneurial introduces students to the essential elements of a practical business plan and then challenges them to start an entrepreneurial venture while still in high school. These are just a few of the many programs offered throughout the community!
Our community recognizes youth entrepreneurship through celebrations like Believe in a Dream’s Youth Entrepreneur Awards, and is working tirelessly to build a community around their great ideas through mentorship opportunities.
All programs like these teach our youth their potential and instill values in them that they might not otherwise recognize. By cultivating these programs, regardless of participants’ backgrounds, our youth are given access to not only the tools but also the mindset to achieve their goals.
What else we can do:
Be a connector.
With a wealth of programming available for our youth, current entrepreneurs (and those invested in entrepreneurial success in our region!) are great advocates and connectors. If you know an individual that would be a great candidate for a local program; if you know a person who would make a great mentor; or if you know a company that can provide financial or in-kind support to cultivate those experiences, make an introduction and deepen our entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Be an advocate.
The entrepreneurial narrative of our community is strong, and it gets stronger the more people tell our story. Join arms and spread the word about Northeast Indiana’s entrepreneurial story and all of the resources available in your personal and professional networks.
Be an entrepreneur.
It’s never too early, and it’s never too late. Our community is rich with resources to help you get your idea off the ground.
When we focus on providing entrepreneurial opportunities for our youth, we’re investing in their future—and our community’s economic future. And it’s a bright one, from where we’re standing.