Chamber announces youth entrepreneurship contest

By Dean Wright - [email protected]

GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia Chamber of Commerce is inviting teenage county residents to take part in its young adult business pitch plan contest.

“It’s modeled after the Glockner Dare to Dream Pitch Contest, a program of TechGROWTH Ohio,” said Gallia Chamber Executive Director Michelle Miller. “I had occasion to meet them and they told me about this program and thought it would be a great opportunity to kick off here in Gallia. The overall goal is really to introduce area youth to entrepreneurship as a possible career path…It’s us giving them the idea that it’s a possibility.”

“It’s really aimed at high school aged students because it is open to home school students,’” said Miller. “It’s the first year so we’re tweaking some things.”

The contest is open to students from grades nine through 12 or the ages of 13 to 18.

“It’s sponsored by area businesses that are joining and the final amount will be announced in October,” said Miller. “The kids will be competing for cash and the total sponsorship dollars will be announced later… The overview of the contest (consists) of teams of three to five who will come together and come up with a business idea.”

Contest information will list a series of questions students should answer with their business model. Students ultimately are asked to come up with a business plan and to present that to a panel of judges. Those judges will determine winners and prize amounts for the best plans.

Miller said the chamber had hopes that some students from the contest would potentially go on to start a business with their plan or expand an already established business.

“A lot of times when you see economic growth, besides large factories coming in, you will see it on a smaller scale with small businesses opening up like in our area downtown,” said Miller. “The majority of them are owner-operated small businesses. (The contest) is meant to say that just because an opportunity doesn’t exist doesn’t mean you can’t create it.”

Finals for the contest will be held in March of next year. For more information, contact the Gallia Chamber of Commerce.

Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.

By Dean Wright

[email protected]