We all can say that youth entrepreneurship is an amazing topic of conversation. However, sometimes that conversation isn't loud enough to be heard. In the state of Missouri, every August, there is a state-wide business competition where youth and adults compete in categories of their own for seed money to launch, expand or maintain their business ideas.
Over a dozen youth ages 12 - 18 have been accepted into the MADE in Missouri Business Competition, hosted by the Missouri Valley Community Action Agency (MVCAA). The current number of entrants into the competition stands at 20 in the youth category. By August 1st, these 20 must have a business plan and financial projections completed, some of which have used the business development software, Monocle, to complete and proceed on.
Ideas submit to the competition range from custom designed skateboards to sports-themed cupcakes, a new and revolutionary locking mechanism to a job search website specialized for Hispanic communities, and even a personalized laundry service coupled with sandwich delivery. The ideas of these students spans far and wide. Each student has had to complete a 25 question submission form, must submit business plan and financial projections and must design an exhibit booth displaying their idea at the competition. Each student will also deliver a 10 - 12 minute pitch presentation to a panel of judges in a private room covering their idea in full.
Winners of the competition will be announced at the MADE Competition, August 12, 2014 at the conclusion of the event. Winners of past have been awarded Seed Funding for their businesses, you can expect the same of this year.
The MVCAA website speaks on the competition saying, “This project and event is a step toward economic stability in Missouri by helping locally owned businesses reach toward success. These new business owners become leaders and reinvest in the communities that support them. They create an economic footprint, hire local people and make a difference in the communities”.
When it comes to why the Missouri Alliance for Economic Development (MADE) think this program is important, the site goes on to state “The purpose of this competition is twofold: to build character and the entrepreneurial spirit for youth, and to develop and launch new businesses in the state of Missouri. Creativity, critical thinking, understanding the role of entrepreneurship in one's community, starting a new business, and ultimately new jobs will build out of this competition. Participants will find the experience educational and rewarding, and some will develop and operate their own new businesses!”
Take a look everyone to the MADE Competition this year, the amount of students pursuing entrepreneurship at such young ages is catching fire. It is our duty as supportive communities to cultivate, nurture, mentor, and spread these dreams of youth entrepreneurship. If you make it to the State Fair in Missouri this year and are available, seek out the competition in Lowell Mohler Assembly Hall at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Missouri on August 12, 2014.