Last updated: July 17. 2013 1:34PM - 180 Views

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Chad Abshire

Staff Writer

Aspiring Pike County high school student entrepreneurs looking to develop their business and entrepreneurial skills can now apply for a week-long summer program to do just that.

The Center for Rural Development’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute (ELI) is accepting applications through March 15 from high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors within the Center’s 45-county primary service area in southern and eastern Kentucky.

“The purpose of ELI is to build future business leaders and entrepreneurs in our region,” Delaney Stephens, youth programs coordinator and community liaison for the Center, said. “As program participants, high school students receive the skills they need to start working toward that goal and pursuing their career goals.”

According to a release from the Center, participants will experience an in-depth look at what it takes to start their own business ventures — from the four basic principles of marketing to reading financial statements.

ELI focuses on developing creativity, teamwork, and business and leadership skills. At the beginning of the week, participants divide into teams and work together throughout the week on a business concept that can be directly applied to Southern and Eastern Kentucky. The concluding event will be a team competition, where team members pitch their business concepts to a panel of regional business leaders acting as potential investors.

The winning team members of ELI’s Business Concept Competition earn scholarship opportunities within the region.

“ELI gives high school students a unique opportunity to work and learn from some of the region’s top business leaders and entrepreneurs,” Stephens said. “Participants get to see what it takes to operate a successful business venture, concentrating on all aspects of that business.”

The program is tentatively scheduled for the week of June 9-14. All lodging, meals, and program expenses (with the exception of transportation to and from the program site) are free to participating students.

Application forms for the 2013 summer session of ELI are available online and may be downloaded at http://centertech.com/leadership/eli/. All applications must be completed and mailed to The Center for Rural Development, 2292 South U.S. 27, Suite 300, Somerset, Ky., 42501, by the March 15 deadline.

For more information on ELI, contact Stephens at 606-677-6000 or email youth@centertech.com.

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