Business was booming in the Ord High Commons Area at the Youth Entrepreneur Showcase Event held during the Ord Wrestling Invite. As people entered the building they were greeted by nine spirited youth entrepreneurs marketing their unique products and services.
At the beginning of the wrestling meet, the business savvy youth were introduced to the crowd in the Ord High School gymnasium. The youth entrepreneur roster included the following:
Amanda Baker presented her custom designed kitchen and utility aprons to the chef and baker enthusiasts; Adrienne Meckel featured “bling accessories” with her handcrafted beaded jewelry; Britan Blair offered embellished cards and notebooks for authors of all ages; Jenna Wulf appealed to OHS fans with her Chanticleer key chains. Lilly Lewis brightened up the fashion world with her designer duct tape wallets; Logan Reiss highlighted his services for all lawn care needs from raking leaves to mowing yards. Shelby Kittle inspired the outdoorsman with her hand painted fishing lures and wildlife motif mailboxes. Timothy White promoted his complete yard care service by offering everything from snow removal to lawn care; and Zach Flessner entertained families with his handcrafted wooden game boards.
After the youth entrepreneurs were set up and ready for the marketplace, they were interviewed by a panel of judges including Clay Ramsey owner of Misko Sports, Kayla Hinrichs UNL extension educator, Corey Beran Ord High School Ag Teacher and Mark Hagge Ord High School Principal. The four judges evaluated the youth entrepreneurs on booth appearance, business concept, promotional tools, and customer service skills. All youth participants will receive comments from judges to use as a learning tool for enhancing their entrepreneurial skills and improving their businesses.
Then the market place opened for business! The youth entrepreneurs sold their products to enthusiastic customers for three hours. This was a great opportunity for the youth to make connections with new customers and business leaders and to promote their special niche products and services.
At the closing of the market place, the entrepreneurs appeared once more before a capacity crowd in the Ord High School gymnasium for the awards ceremony. All of the youth were praised as innovative leaders in our school system and community. The top two businesses, including Shelby Kittle’s Custom Made Lures and Adrienne Meckel’s Accessories “Bling It On” were awarded an array of prizes to help them hone their entrepreneurial skills and expand their business presence. Awards include a free one-year Youth Ord Area Chamber Membership with full benefits including the ShopOrd.com online selling option, $150.00 to enhance entrepreneurial skills and business expansion, and the opportunity to market products in two local businesses.
The Youth Entrepreneur Showcase was sponsored through a partnership among the Ord Area Chamber of Commerce, the Valley County Community Foundation Fund and the Ord FBLA Chapter. “We believe the Y.E.S. Event is a valuable avenue for providing sustainable programming that will build our human capacity and business economy for the future of Valley County. The Y.E.S. Event offers real world business experience for youth that have a passion for entrepreneurship. Learning accounting, marketing, time management and customer service skills are essential for competing in the business world. Furthermore, we want our youth to know there are ample opportunities to live and work in their hometowns,” commented Kristina Foth, Dahn Hagge and Jennifer Remmereid, co-coordinators of the event.
A special thank you, to the FBLA youth coordinators: Dalton Davis and Molli Hagge, and the Ord High School administration and staff for supporting this event.