Li­brary launches teen en­trepreneur­ship pro­gram

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By JES­SICA IANNETTA

jian­netta@ce­cil­whig.com

— For stu­dents cur­rently strug­gling to find a sum­mer job, the Ce­cil County Pub­lic Li­brary has a bet­ter idea: cre­ate your own.

Later this month, the li­brary will launch Start-Up Ce­cil, a three­p­ro­gram se­ries and busi­ness plan con­test for as­pir­ing teen en­trepreneurs. The pro­gram starts with classes on June 20 and June 27 and con­cludes with a busi­ness plan show­case on July 11 where a panel of judges will cri­tique their busi­ness plans.

Top prize in the con­test is a $200 Visa gift card with sec­ond place earn­ing $100 and third place earn­ing $50. All par­tic­i­pants will also get Start-Up Ce­cil T-shirts and other busi­ness-re­lated prizes such as busi­ness cards and books on teen en­trepreneur­ship.

Kate­lyn McLi­mans, young adult li­brary as­so­ciate, said she al­ready knows many stu­dents who try to make ex­tra cash dur­ing the sum­mer through yard work, paint­ing nails or other sim­i­lar jobs.

“So we’re tak­ing th­ese great

ELK­TON

ideas kids al­ready have and help­ing them be­come en­trepreneurs,” she said.

The first ses­sion on June 20 will fo­cus on brain­storm­ing busi­ness ideas, go­ing over the con­test rules and hear­ing from guest speak­ers. At this ses­sion, Ja­son Lim, a fi­nan­cial advisor at Ed­wards Jones, will dis­cuss how to get fund­ing and in­vest­ments and Shreyas Parab, a teen en­trepreneur from Delaware who started his own nov­elty tie com­pany, will speak to stu­dents about what it’s like to start a busi­ness as a teenager, McLi­mans said.

At the sec­ond ses­sion, McLi­mans and Laura Met­zler, the small busi­ness li­brar­ian, will teach stu­dents how to write a busi­ness plan and what re­sources are avail­able at the li­brary to help them, McLi­mans said.

The pro­gram cul­mi­nates on July 11 with the busi­ness plan show­case and judg­ing. Coun­cil­man Dan Sch­neck­en­burger, Kim Swyka of Columbia Bank and Cathy and Jim Par­sons from Best Va­ca­tions in Elk­ton, will judge the con­test, Met­zler said. Though the judges will get the busi­ness plans in ad­vance to give them time to read them over, stu­dents will also be judged based on their five-minute “Shark Tank-style” pre­sen­ta­tion, she added.

The judges will be look­ing for cre­ativ­ity, a solid pre­sen­ta­tion and a well-ar­tic­u­lated and achiev­able busi­ness plan, Met­zler said.

Met­zler spends much of her time work­ing with adult small busi­ness own­ers and said she un­der­stands how much hard work goes into run­ning a busi­ness. With Start-Up Ce­cil, Met­zler said she hopes stu­dents un­der­stand how much work is in­volved but also that be­com­ing an en­trepreneur is an achiev­able goal.

“I thought it would be re­ally great to show teenagers and young adults the re­al­ity of small busi­ness own­er­ship and ba­si­cally what it takes to be a suc­cess­ful en­trepreneur so that if that’s a goal of theirs they’ll know ahead of time what needs to hap­pen and what they need to be think­ing about,” she said.

Start-Up Ce­cil par­tic­i­pants must be be­tween the ages of 11 and 17 and can work in teams of up to three peo­ple. At­ten­dance at the first two ses­sions is not re­quired to en­ter the con­test, but all busi­ness plans must be sub­mit­ted by 5 p.m. on July 5 and par­tic­i­pants must give a pre­sen­ta­tion on July 11 to be el­i­gi­ble to win.

Busi­ness plans can be sub­mit­ted at any CCPL branch or by email­ing sbic@cc­plnet.org. Stu­dents can reg­is­ter for the classes by call­ing 410-996-5600 ext. 481 or email­ing sbic@cc­plnet.org.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF CCPL

The Ce­cil County Pub­lic Li­brary is start­ing a new teen en­trepreneur­ship pro­gram called Start-Up Ce­cil.

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