During the 2020-2021 academic year, E-Communities (and other Kansas communities) have the opportunity to host local-level entrepreneurship competitions and submit their event to be part of the “Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Series”. Local entrepreneurship competitions must meet certain guidelines in order to qualify as part of the Series. The YEC series gives Kansas students hands-on experience thinking entrepreneurially.
Hosting a YEC event in your community is a fantastic way to energize your local entrepreneurial ecosystem. The goal of the competition is to expose Kansas middle school and high school students to entrepreneurship. As a result of this competition, there may be an increased interest level in entrepreneurship among youth, leading students to see building their own business as a viable career path and a way to better their community.
First time hosting an event? Here's where to start:
- Fill out a Sanction Form (competition application). The sanction form is how a local competition would be approved to be part of the YEC Series. The sanction application is required in order to be a part of this program. If your sanction application is approved, you will have access to tremendous resources, potential funding for prizes and expenses (if you're an E-Community), as well as automatic qualification for a spot at the KEC State Championship. Every winner of the local YEC competition automatically qualifies for the State Championship.
- Wait to receive approval from NetWork Kansas. Once you've submitted your sanction form, NetWork Kansas will reach out to you within 10 business days to let you know if your event has been approved.
- Begin planning the event. Once your event has been approved, it's time to plan the event. You'll need to market the event to students, identify judges and sponsors to support it, and nail down some of the details of the competition.
- Use Best practices gathered from experts across the state. One of the best parts of joining the YEC Series is the access you get to best practices from event organizers throughout the state of Kansas.
- Educate Mentors and Entrepreneurs on ways to prepare for the competition. We've compiled videos, articles, templates, and examples of tools entrepreneurs can use to be successful at a YEC competition. Not only that, but there are tons of great ways Mentors can incorporate the articles and videos into class time to make sure the entrepreneurs are prepared.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help. NetWork Kansas wants to make sure that your events are successful! If you have any questions or need help with anything, don't hesitate to reach out to your NetWork Kansas E-Community Regional Manager or Amara Kniep, Product Manager of E-Community Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.