Contact: Bailee Henry, Product Manager of E-Community Programs, NetWork Kansas
NetWork Kansas Sponsors the 2021-2022
Youth Entrepreneurship (YEC) Series
Wichita, KS – NetWork Kansas’ Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership announces the 2021-2022 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Series. The YEC Series consists of local-level youth entrepreneurship competitions hosted by volunteers. The goal of the competition is to expose Kansas middle school and high school students to entrepreneurship. Fifty-four local events in Kansas cities and counties will culminate in a state championship hosted at Kansas State University on April 28, 2022.
“The Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge is an exciting and fun experience for students. It allows students the opportunity to show off their business ideas in front of judges and their peers while competing for a cash prize. We’ve had winners use the cash prize to make their business plan come to fruition, whereas without the competition, these students wouldn’t have ever considered starting a business,” says Mollea Wainscott, Assistant Director of Economic Development at Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation.
Local YEC Series events require students to prepare an executive summary and four-minute presentation, and often feature interactive tradeshows or elevator pitches. Students compete for awards and prizes. Students’ work is judged by local entrepreneurs, public sector partners, teachers, and other community members. The first place business idea at each local YEC Series competition qualifies to compete at the state championship. Up to fifteen additional business ideas can earn the right to participate at the state championship through a wildcard application process.
The Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge allows students to gain hands-on entrepreneurship experience. Students are empowered to solve everyday problems in their own community, which helps them to see that entrepreneurship is a viable career option. The exponential growth of YEC has reiterated that there is a hunger for youth entrepreneurship in Kansas. This year we expect the YEC Series to involve over 1,000 students and be the biggest year for YEC yet!” says Bailee Henry, Product Manager of E-Community Programs.
Competitions in the 2021-2022 YEC Series will be hosted in: Anderson County, Barton County, Bourbon County, Chase County, Chautauqua County, Cherokee County, Cheyenne County, Clay County, Cloud County, Cowley County, Crawford County, Douglas County, Edwards County, Ellis County, Ellsworth County, Ford County, Greeley County, Hodgeman County, Kiowa County, Labette County, Leavenworth County, Lincoln County, Linn County, Marion County, McPherson County, Montgomery County, Morris County, Morton County, Neosho County, Norton County, Osborne County, Pawnee County, Phillips County, Pottawatomie County, Rawlins County, Reno County, Republic County, Rice County, Riley County, Rooks County, Russell County, Saline County Scott County, Sedgwick County, Seward County, Shawnee County, Sherman County, Smith County, Stafford County, Thomas County, Wabaunsee County, Wichita County, Wyandotte County.
During 2020-2021, 898 students from more than seventy Kansas schools participated in forty-four local entrepreneurship competitions as part of the YEC series. The 2021-2022 academic year marks the ninth annual YEC series coordinated by NetWork Kansas and the E-Community Partnership.
Stay tuned for more information about the 2021-2022 YEC Series!