Unique Youth Entrepreneurial Program Launches


Unique Youth Entrepreneurial Program Launches


The LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation (LCEDC) in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce, Community Foundation, Howe Military and Lakeland, Prairie Heights and Westview High Schools is thrilled to announce the kick- off of an entrepreneurial program that will benefit our local youth and community.  The program is known as Launch LaGrange County and will provide students the opportunity to start their own businesses and simultaneously compete for college scholarships, business grants and other awards and opportunities.

Launch LaGrange County officially started earlier this week with rallies at Lakeland and Westview High Schools.  Molly Manns, one of the club sponsors at Westview High School, spoke at the rally, saying, “Launch LaGrange County offers Westview students, and students throughout the county, a practical way to develop real-world business and leadership skills.” The other high schools will have their kick-off events within the next few weeks.  Following the rallies, LCEDC and its partners will sponsor student entrepreneur clubs at each high school.


The clubs will meet regularly during the school year to establish a school-based youth entrepreneurship community where they will work together to develop a business plan and work towards competition.  In February, students will present their business plans to a panel of judges and the general public within each school system. The top three business plans from each school will then advance to Round 2.  Round 2 is a county-wide competition where participants will present to a panel of investors, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and community leaders. 

The skills students learn will be valuable throughout life; skills and experiences they can relate to as they pursue their educations and future careers.  “The goal of this program is not to discourage students from going to college or entering other post-secondary training programs. Instead, it will afford them an opportunity to see the opportunities that exist and better determine where they want their career focus to be,” states Ryne Krock, President of LCEDC.  


 In addition to learning entrepreneurial skills, the LCEDC is creating the opportunity for schools and students to connect with mentors, business men and women, from the local and regional community.  “Launch LaGrange County is a tremendous opportunity for this community to invest in our youth, our future. I’m excited about being involved as a mentor; to see the energy of these students as they bring their ideas to life,” said LaGrange County REMC CEO Mark Leu. Leu is also the Chairman of the LCEDC Board of Directors. 


While there are many benefits of Launch LaGrange County, one of the hopes of the LCEDC and our other supporters, is that by helping our youth be successful in finding viable business opportunities, it will ultimately help us retain talented youth in LaGrange County. The LCEDC is calling on LaGrange County residents, companies and business and civic leaders to consider sponsoring the program, a scholarship or a mentorship. For more information or to get involved, please contact the LaGrange County EDC at (260)499-4994 or via email at rkrock@lagrangecountyedc.com or visit the program website at www.launchlagrangecounty.com.


About the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation

The LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation, established in 2009, is a 501(c) 3 corporation designed to assist business development needs.  The LCEDC partners with local, regional, state, and federal agencies to attract, retain, and develop new businesses and entrepreneurs in LaGrange County and its communities.  For more information about the LaGrange County EDC, please visit www.lagrangecountyedc.com or call at 260.499.4994



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