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Youth Business Day Empowers Entrepreneurship and Teamwork

Innovation…Leadership…Teamwork…Entrepreneurship…were the focus of the 5th Annual Business Discovery Day, held on Wednesday, February 24th at the Golden Husk and Central Community College Ord Learning Center.

Business Discovery Day is an annual event focused on connecting area high school students with regional entrepreneurial professionals, business leaders and community developers who share a passion for the entrepreneurial spirit, quality educational opportunities and the vitality of rural Nebraska.20160224_100809_LLS

Event sessions throughout the day are specifically designed to empower youth by offering experiences to build leadership and entrepreneurial skills. This year students were welcomed at the Golden Husk with an inspiring message highlighting the abundant opportunities to pursue entrepreneurial careers and successfully live and work in rural Nebraska. Area students began the day with an assessment of their individual results from Gallups Entrepreneurial Strengths Profile, led by Gregg Christensen, Entrepreneurship and Career Education Specialist from the Nebraska Department of Education. This assessment allowed students the opportunity to understand and apply their individual strengths and leadership pertaining to teamwork and entrepreneurship. Lunch was held at the CCC Ord Learning Center where students were separated into teams, introduced to their team mentor, and prepared for the afternoon MiInnovation Entrepreneurship Project Competition. Returning students, Alex Farrens and Bryant Ells, introduced the competition and spoke of their own life experiences and take-away from the first annual Business Discovery Day held in 2012.

Group Work Reduced Size

Innovation and creativity flowed through the Learning Center as each group worked diligently to design and present a new and innovative product and business plan utilizing newspaper as their main project resource. Judges were given the difficult task of determining which innovative project would be designated 3rd, 2nd and 1st. Creative business ideas included using newspaper to make fashionable “Paper Pouches/Purses”, a user-friendly “Gym on the Go”, Kid-Focused  & Fun “Pop It Up News”, a creative “News Case” for a phone, and first place idea, parent-friendly “Kiddi Klean-Up” a newspaper product focused on saving parents time and energy with high-chair cleanup assistance.  The event closed with awards and a guest appearance from Toni Rasmussen and Ben Halvorson, students from UNL’s Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program, a program focused on providing students with the skills, inspiration and fortitude to transform the nation’s resources into their next big idea.

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The power of partnerships is an essential element to the success of Business Discovery Day, as our dynamic partners contribute valuable resources and offer extraordinary experiences to our youth. This year the featured partners and guest presenters included Gregg Christensen, Entrepreneurship and Career Education Specialist, Nebraska Department of Education; Doris Lux, Director of E-Ship Center, Central Community College; Lynette Dreifurst, CCC Entrepreneurship; Karin Rieger, CCC Associate Dean of Extended Learning; Bryant Ells, Financial Services Representative; Beth Knapinski, Valley County Health System; Alex Farrens, Farm Bureau, Greg Duryea Agency, Inc.; Trevor Lee, VCED & Ord Area Chamber; Toni Rasmussen & Ben Halvorson, UNL Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program.

Business Discovery Day was hosted and sponsored by Valley County Community Foundation Fund, Valley County Economic Development, Ord Area Chamber of Commerce, Ord Future Business Leaders of America Chapter (FBLA) and Central Community College-Ord Learning Center. The sponsors would like to extend sincere appreciation to all schools, area businesses, entrepreneurs, community leaders, session mentors, partners and guest presenters who continuously support the event and work for the greater good of rural Nebraska.

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