NetWork Kansas Sponsors 2016-2017 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Series

13 Jan 2017


NetWork Kansas' Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership announces the 2016-2017 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Series. The YEC Series consists of local-level youth entrepreneurship competitions hosted by volunteers. The goal of the competition is to expose Kansas middle school and high school students to entrepreneurship. Twenty-two local events in Kansas cities and counties will culminate in a state championship hosted at Fort Hays State University on April 24, 2017.  

"The YEC is an opportunity for our students to get away from the textbook and apply real world skills to finding a way to impact our local economy with their rural business concepts. I am excited to see how this event can continue grow the entrepreneurial spirit, not only in Goodland, but also in other rural communities of Kansas," says Chase Topliff, Business/Marketing Instructor at Goodland High School.

Local YEC Series events require students to prepare an executive summary and an elevator pitch, and often feature interactive tradeshows or formal presentations. Students compete for awards and prizes. Students' work is judged by local entrepreneurs, public sector partners, teachers, and other community members. The first place business idea at each local YEC Series competition qualifies to compete at the state championship. Fourteen additional business ideas can earn the right to participate at the state championship through a wildcard application process.   

"Students tell us every year how local entrepreneurship competitions open their eyes to new career possibilities, encourage them to be creative, and give them valuable experience presenting ideas to a panel of judges. It's a wonderful experience that a community can give to their youth," says Anne Dewvall, Manager of the E-Community Partnership.

The 2016-2017 YEC Series will be hosted in: Bird City, Chautauqua County, Cherokee County, Clay County, Cowley County, Ford County, Hodgeman County, Hoisington, Leavenworth County, Marion County, Norton County, Pawnee County, Phillips County, Reno County, Republic County, Riley County, Rooks County, Salina (both fall and spring events), Sherman County, Thomas County, and Wichita County.

During 2015-2016, 242 students from more than twenty Kansas communities hosted sixteen local entrepreneurship competitions as part of the YEC series. The 2016-2017 academic year marks the fourth annual YEC series coordinated by NetWork Kansas and the E-Community Partnership.

For more information, contact Anne Dewvall, Manager of E-Communities,