Seward County Development Corporation hosted Liberal’s inaugural Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) on Wednesday March 3 at the Liberal Conference Center. This competition was originally launched by Network Kansas and offers students the opportunity to develop and present a business idea.
The event featured 38 sole proprietorships designed by students on the Entrepreneurship course at Liberal High School. The students had to write a summary of their business plan, set up a booth and present their business idea to a jury.
Kerr’s successful “Sole Cleaners” business idea would provide cleaning services for people’s shoes and hats. As Kerr noted, people spend a lot of money on shoes and they don’t like it when they get dirty. Most people do not know how to properly clean these or they do not have the necessary supplies. His company would provide these.
Eli Svaty, host of the event, thought it was a great success. “It’s a great opportunity for students to interact with community members and gain experience presenting their ideas. We had great judges who could ask relevant questions, and I know the students learned from that. “Svaty also had high praise for the school program. “Ms. Ebeling has always had a strong entrepreneurship program at LHS and I am delighted that we were able to hold this competition for her. Many of her former students are now business owners in our area, and I am sure that some of the children, who take part in competitions today will one day open a shop here. “
Three other prizes were awarded at the event. Second place went to Adan Mata for his “Grind House Café” business. Third place went to Mana Chanthasone for her “Virtutors” business. The final award was the People’s Choice award, which is based on votes from community members who attended the show. The winner of the People’s Choice Award was Javon Allen and his company “Faye’s Health Palace”.
With his win, Kerr qualifies for the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge hosted by Kansas State University. This year the event will be virtual and will take place on April 27th.