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Youth Entrepreneurship Competition (YEC) Now Open

SIDNEY -- The Cheyenne County e3 chapter, Nelnet, and Sidney Public Schools are excited to announce the launch of its first Youth Entrepreneurship Competition (YEC). In partnership with Sidney High School and local teacher, Ashley Fehringer, high school students will have the opportunity to enroll in a semester-long course in the Fall of 2023 focused on entrepreneurship. Under the expert guidance of Fehringer, students will identify a product or company idea and the YEC curriculum for the semester will overview how to craft a business plan, establish company financials, and develop a marketing strategy. 

At the conclusion of the semester, students will compete in a three-fold competition. The first component of the competition includes an assessment of their executive summary and business plan. Next, students will give an elevator pitch to a panel of local business owners for review. Finally, a trade show will be hosted for the entire community for students to showcase their talents and business ideas. Criteria from all components of the competition will be compiled and the top three scoring students will be awarded with the following prizes:

• 1st place: $5,000 and a MacBook Pro 13 w touch bar

• 2nd place: $2,500 and an 10.2” iPad

• 3rd place: $1,000 and an AirPod Pro’s 2

Top winners will be awarded these fantastic prizes which have been graciously donated by Nelnet in collaboration with private funding secured by the City of Sidney's Department of Economic Development. These winnings can be applied toward a student's college education or utilized as reimbursement for business expenses.

“The future of Cheyenne County and ongoing economic development starts with our youth. We are so excited to partner with these amazing organizations to provide real-life experiences for students to contribute to rural Nebraska post-graduation.” stated Alisha Juelfs, newly hired e3 Navigator for Cheyenne County. Sarah Sinnett, e3 community lead added, “A recent youth study by the Nebraska Community Foundation indicated that only 4% of local students wanted to live in a community larger than those in Nebraska after graduation. The main reason students choose not to stay in their hometown is often because they do not believe they can find a job locally. By giving students tools to build and grow their careers post-graduation, our community will continue to thrive.”

Students can begin enrolling for the course during Spring registration in April.


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