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CEO: An Investment in the Next Generation

Matthew Fisher (Staples-Motley) and Mitchel Haman (Wadena-Deer Creek). Courtesy photo.

Did you know that the spirit of Entrepreneurship is alive in your community's young people?

Just this month the Central MN CEO class of the Staples-Motley, Wadena-Deer Creek and Verndale communities, comprised of junior and senior high school students, began building the first of multiple businesses that they will build throughout the upcoming year.

The first challenge with which the students are faced, the "badge business," is an induction into the world of sponsorship, content creation, and team collaboration. The students are presented with the need: badges for their class; committed with the project: creating and funding these badges; and then given the space to brainstorm with their class mates about the best way to complete it.

The goal: badges for the class, and the first taste of what it means to build something from scratch, with the input and perspectives of 10-15 other people.

The CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) program is a community-supported, investor-funded class that will take place in Staples, Motley, Wadena, Deer Creek and Verndale local businesses throughout the upcoming school year. It is not funded by the local schools, though students do receive school credit for their time commitment.

This is a commitment which includes visiting area businesses, exposure to guest speakers, participation in a class business, writing business plans, and, ultimately, starting and operating their own functioning businesses.

Because it is not funded by the school system, this program utilizes partnerships in the community (i.e. local investors) to provide students with the opportunity to learn about what their community has to offer, as well as insight into business process and development.

Staples, Motley, Wadena, Deer Creek and Verndale are grateful for their investors and for the investor's role in making CEO a reality in our communities. In this way they are keeping the spirit of entrepreneurship alive. In this way, they are investing in the next generation.

Are you interested in getting involved? Whether it's in hosting a class visit, investing in the class itself, or simply interest in visiting a class, your inquiries are welcome.

Please contact Bob Jackson (218) 895-2138 for more information.