SIDNEY -- Entrepreneurs are encouraging youth to become entrepreneurs.

The Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge is scheduled to start this fall at Sidney High School. The program is the result of the Cheyenne County e3 chapter, Nelnet, and Sidney Public Schools working together.

"The Youth Entrepreneurship Competition (YEC) launches at Sidney this fall," said Alisha Juelfs, E3 Navigator.

Juelfs, Cory Keen and Sarah Sinnett recently updated the community on activities within the E3 group.

The program is designed with three phases: Executive summary and business plan, Pitch competition and local trade show. Supporters of the program have donated prizes for the top three in the competition: 1st -- $5,000 and a MacBook Pro, 2nd -- $2,500 and an iPad, and 3rd -- $1,000 and AirPod Pros.

The prizes were donated by Nelnet and a private donor.

The monetary winnings can be applied toward post-secondary education or costs of starting a business. 

"We're hoping that with the success of Sidney's program, we can then launch it in other schools," Juelfs said.

 In partnership with Sidney High School and teacher Ashley Fehringer, high school students will have the opportunity to enroll in a semester-long course in the Fall of 2023 focused on entrepreneurship. Under the guidance of Fehringer, students will identify a product or company idea and the YEC curriculum for the semester will overview how to craft a business plan, establish company financials, and develop a marketing strategy. 

At the conclusion of the semester, students will compete in a three-fold competition. The first component of the competition includes an assessment of their executive summary and business plan. Next, students will give an elevator pitch to a panel of local business owners for review. Finally, a trade show will be hosted for the entire community for students to showcase their talents and business ideas. 

For more information, contact Ashley Fehringer at [email protected], or [email protected].