Page 1

The magazine dedicated to IGNITING innovation and entrepreneurship for Michigan youth

Fall 2011

Viewing Youth as an Asset in Economic Development DeWitt Creativity Group Thinks Global Fourth Annual 2012

IGNITE Youth Business Plan Competition A Publication of the Prima Civitas Foundation


Big Ideas! By Holly Hetzner, Moving Ideas to Market Program Manager

Thank you for picking up and paging through our inaugural My Big Idea Magazine! We hope this magazine will serve as inspiration to YOU – our up and coming business leaders and CEOs. The “parent” of this magazine – the IGNITE Team – is a volunteer Advisory Council within the Moving Ideas to Market (MI2M) Initiative that focuses on youth entrepreneurship. MI2M, managed by the Prima Civitas Foundation, is an initiative that is dedicated to fostering a vibrant entrepreneurial culture in Michigan. IGNITE partners are working to prepare a new generation of students to not only meet the demands of a 21st Century economy – but exceed as innovators and job creators!

The magazine dedicated to IGNITING innovation and entrepreneurship for Michigan youth PAR E NTS

Raising an Entrepreneur–

A Parent’s


Creativity 12 1 DeWitt Group Thinks Global

Perspective CO M M U N IT Y

4 Asset in Economic Development Viewing Youth as an

2012 13 IGNITE Fourth Annual

By Dr. Kelly Moyers and Cheryl Peters

of the Generation E Institute

Youth Business Plan Competition

Youth Owned Enterprises:

The Neutral


By John Weiss


Executive Director of Neutral Zone

Organization Profile:

Raise It Up


If I’d Only Known

Then What I Know


5 Now

By Eric Jorgensen

“ BenJamin’”17 Meet Benjamin

Youth Arts and Awareness

If you’d like to learn more about IGNITE, view a full list of partners, or read up on our latest programs, I encourage you to visit our website at

8 Global Scale 10 Entrepreneurial

Thank you, again, for checking us out – and I wish you all the best in realizing your entrepreneurial dreams!

YooperPreneurs 11

Youth Entrepreneurship on a


New Flint Network

Harkens Back to

Youth Business Venture Fall 2011 volume I, No. I

Prima Civitas Foundation ©2011 Prima Civitas Foundation Copyrights claimed in pp. 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 16, & 18 and are the exclusive property of their respective organizations. No reprints without permission. To obtain permission, please contact Holly Hetzner at


Resources 18 Entrepreneurship

With thanks… Steven Webster, CEO, Prima Civitas Foundation Holly Hetzner, Editor and content manager, Prima Civitas Foundation Chris Stickney, Content collaborator, Michigan State University Extension Mari Wichman, Editor, Prima Civitas Foundation Bruce Mackley, Publication design BRD Printing, Printing services Christine Hollister, Theme collaborator, Prima Civitas Foundation Fellow Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Funding support & Our network of 50+ volunteer organizations for helping us uncover, develop, and promote these inspiring stories.

When Alexandra Reau, then 13, came to her parents with the idea of setting up a roadside vegetable stand, they had some serious concerns. Living on a busy road with two working parents, they felt such a business might be unsafe for their young daughter. But from this initial conversation came a new idea that would allow Alexandra to not only pursue her passion for gardening, but also an opportunity to create something new in her community. Alexandra Reau, founder of Garden to Go, won the first ever IGNITE Youth Business Plan Competition and leveraged her winnings to create her business. Garden to Go is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) business. Under this model, customers sign up at the beginning of a growing season, and for 8 of the 9 weeks of the harvest season, the customers receive a share of the produce grown in Alexandra’s garden. Aside from simply being a successful teen-run start-up, she and her business have been the subject of much attention from their community and the media, with the New York Times even featuring the business in the summer of 2010. In three years, she has tripled the size of her business. We took a few minutes to talk with Alexandra’s Mother, Brenda Reau, to get a parent’s perspective on supporting a teen entrepreneur.

a parent’s perspective

R ais ing a n e ntre preneur –

Whose idea was it for Alexandra to start a business and where did the idea of a CSA model come from? The idea stemmed from Alexandra’s love for gardening. She had been involved in a 4-H gardening and farm stand project, which she really enjoyed. At the beginning she wanted to set up a roadside vegetable stand, but we live on a busy road and her father and I didn’t feel safe having her working with strangers when we were both at work. She had heard me talk about the CSA model before and asked if that might work. Under the CSA model, she would be working with pre-selected people who we already knew, so that seemed a much more safe route to go.

Would you consider your family an entrepreneurial family? Yes. Both Alexandra’s father and I have “regular” jobs, but we’ve also run our own businesses. We have a family farming business and I have run a craft business in the past. I’m good at public relations, marketing and sales, so some of that may have rubbed off on Alexandra.

Did you actively encourage Alexandra to start a business, or just provide support as she sought it out? I encouraged her. It is a great experience and an opportunity to learn so many skills. I’m from a background where I place a lot of value on work ethic and I believe it is good for kids to have a taste of hard work at a young age.

“ What’s the worst that could happen? Everyone turned me down; big deal.” – J. K. Rowling,

author of the

Harry Potter series

(continued) Fall 2011





What skills and lessons has Alexandra learned from this experience? She’s learned patience, persistence, how to solve problems and overcome obstacles, and responsibility to her customers. She has customers that come 3 days a week to pick up their vegetables so she can’t always do the social things when she wants. She can’t just take off and go swimming with her friends when she is scheduled to meet her customers. In terms of persistence and problem solving, with this being an agricultural business, she had to learn how to overcome challenges with things like lack of rain.

What have YOU learned from this experience? I’ve learned that I need to let her take as much ownership as possible. This was really hard for me because I have impeccably high standards. I can be a perfectionist. I had to learn to let Alexandra do things her own way even though it wasn’t necessarily how I would do it or if it wasn’t up to my standards, as long as her customers were happy. Learning how to not micromanage was a big challenge.

Did you have any concerns about Alexandra starting a business as a 13 year old? My first concern was safety. Garden to Go advertises on the Internet and I’m not comfortable with Alexandra meeting strangers that way. We resolved this by letting me do an initial screening of new people interested in the business. So far people have been very accepting of this practice. Also, initially I was worried that people might not take the business seriously because it was being run by a young person. We’ve actually found that the opposite is true, though. People are





“She’s learned

excited to work with Alexandra precisely because she is a young person. They see her as hardworking and industrious and want to support her efforts.

What roles, if any, do you play in your daughter’s business? I assist her with her weekly newsletter. It contains recipes that teach people how to cook with the vegetables she grows, and I create or test most of those recipes. I also help her talk through some of her marketing ideas. Her father helps her with some of the actual garden work.

What help did your daughter get in starting her business? The IGNITE Business Plan Competition winnings were very helpful to her in the first year. Neither she nor I had any experience running a CSA, so we didn’t know exactly how this would work, if at all. The IGNITE funds paid for many of Alexandra’s initial costs allowing her to start small with only a few customers while learning her business. She didn’t have to worry about making tons of money right away to cover her expenses. Also, participating in the competition helped her to develop her business plan, which is essential. Finally, she received some free services from a local attorney when she was first getting started.

“Pick something that you enjoy doing and are passionate about rather than something that you just think will make you a lot of money.”

What unique advantages do teen entrepreneurs have?

There are people out there who are willing to support teen entrepreneurs simply because they are young people showing initiative. Many adults perceive teens as lacking a work ethic, so they get excited when they see someone who doesn’t fit that stereotype.

What disadvantages are there to being a teen entrepreneur? Teens don’t always perceive things like adults do. They size up situations differently so they may need help with communication skills and determining customers’ needs.

What advice would you give a young person thinking about starting a business? You really need to sit down and think through all aspects of your business. A written business plan is very important. Also, pick something that you enjoy doing and are passionate about rather than something that you just think will make you a lot of money. Most people need joy and fulfillment beyond just making money and the typical teen business doesn’t generate a huge salary anyway, so make sure you enjoy what you’re doing.

Do you have any advice for parents of young people who are thinking of starting a business? Look at it as an investment in your child just as you would any other activity like sports, band, and music lessons. There are emotional and time investments on the parent’s part. This isn’t something you can just turn a teen loose on. It will take time, guidance, and support.

Fall 2011

patience, persistence, how to solve problems and overcome obstacles, and responsibility to her customers. She has customers that come 3 days a week to pick up their vegetables so she can’t always do the social things when she wants. She can’t just take off and go swimming with her friends when she is scheduled to meet her customers.” Brenda Reau

Fall 2011






in Economic Development By Dr. Kelly Moyers and Cheryl Peters of the Generation E Institute

As most of us are aware, high school graduates have several choices after high school. Some will continue on with

post-secondary education at local colleges and universities, trade schools or out-ofstate institutions for higher education. Some will enter, or continue in, the workforce by advancing in their current career pathway or seeking a new career pathway to explore. Yet, with all these choices in front of them, some youth will pursue a path that has become increasingly popular among America’s youth and young adults - a path that wasn’t introduced to students our age while in high school; a path that didn’t even get mentioned in our business classes or any of our other classes, for that matter: the path of entrepreneurship. Yes, entrepreneurship. In a recent, longitudinal study by the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University and the Stanford Center on Adolescence, both qualitative and quantitative findings provided scientifically validated information needed for creating effective programming and policies designed to cultivate entrepreneurial capacity. Upon study completion, the authors defined entrepreneurship as, “the process of creating something new with value by devoting the necessary time and effort, assuming the risks, and receiving the resulting rewards.” Entrepreneurship isn’t a new concept, but providing it as a career option to young people may be just what our economy needs. Today, in many public schools, students take a career interest





inventory in 8th grade; however, many public school curricula do not even address entrepreneurship as a part of a career pathway. Therefore, it needs to be introduced to youth as an option to consider. Entrepreneurship provides promising options to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, all races, both genders, and now, all ages. This opens the door to any and every person, regardless of age and background, to contribute to social change, economic development and the well-being of our communities. With a wealth of information and research now available on the concept of entrepreneurship, the problem lies in how we effectively inform youth, as well as community leaders, about the availability of this type of education. The solution lies in providing entrepreneurial education opportunities to our youth in any and all educational settings available. From in-school programming and homeschool programming to after school programs and kids’ clubs, entrepreneurship education is available and is, frankly, underappreciated and underused.

Another piece of this puzzle

includes keeping youth in their own communities after high school graduation. Recognizing the critical link between community and education is paramount. To that end, the help of our communities in supporting entrepreneurial education will ensure an equitable and excellent education for students, as well as a healthy and positive economic impact on the communities themselves. Research on retaining high school and college graduFall 2011

ates shows that communities are positively and social contributions to society. It Today, GenEI is present in over 29 may seem like a huge task to take on. The affected by those who develop entrepreMichigan counties and 5 counties in good news, however, is that organizaneurial businesses and stay in their local Illinois and is beginning to work in Intions exist to provide this guidance and community, rather than move to another diana. It is estimated that the more than educational curricula to prepare youth state to work in a new community. Local 225 educators and community facilitafor entrepreneurial ventures of their businesses are a staple of most economies. tors have engaged over 6,000 students own. Generation E Institute (GenEI), a Local economies realize discernable benin youth entrepreneurship education. In efits from the activities of small businesses. non-profit organization located in Battle 2009, GenEI was offered the opportunity Creek, began in mid-2004 as a youth In addition, small businesses also realize to partner with Battle Creek Unlimited entrepreneurship education program competitive advantages by engaging in (BCU) and Kellogg Community College primarily funded by the W.K. Kellogg a local focus in their business activities, (KCC) to begin the Center for EntrepreFoundation and The Coleman Foundaincluding service and marketing activities. neurship (CfE). This partnership allows Other major benefits of new business in a local economy can include an increase in employment and flexible income, tax income increases noun for local governments, betA person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially ter access to services and a a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk. strong and reliable customer base for businesses.

If our youth remain lo-

Social entrepreneur A person who uses creative business practice to start a social services organization.

cally and gainfully employed (either by becoming more Famous Entrepreneurs Don’t know these famous entrepreneurs? Do some research online! personally marketable and Walk Disney ● Ben & Jerry’s ● Henry Ford ● Donald Trump ● Jennifer Lopez ● Sean Combs employable or starting their Richard Branson ● Bono ● Jay-Z ● Vera Wang ● Steven Spielberg own businesses), the local community benefits. A local “brain drain,”such as students, as well as any entrepreneur, to young people leaving to seek employment tion. GenEI provides youth entrepreneurship educational curricula for middle and seek support in any business area from in other states or countries, is less likely high school age youth, ten to twenty-six local providers at a free or discounted to happen if they have local economic years in age. These programs form the rate. In addition, there are 14 providing and business opportunities at home. In basis for a “pipeline” to avert the “drop partners who serve on the CfE advisory addition, economic solutions rooted in out” mentality usually found in eighth board who work to provide a “one stop entrepreneurship centralize financial regrade level students, providing relevance shop” for aspiring entrepreneurs, as well sources within communities, making the to core subjects to raise graduation rates, as those who have already established probability of success higher. increase the understanding that entreprebusinesses and are looking for guidance What steps are necessary to ensure that neurship is part of every career pathway, in growth planning. For more informathese opportunities are afforded to our and promote post-secondary education tion on these services, please contact youth? We must identify programming and training as the key to economic the CfE at 269.966.4095 or E-mail your that offers the educational tools, the growth and achievement. Through this inquiries to opportunity to develop the skills needed, program, young people acquire leadership and the true entrepreneurial mindsets Originally published September 2011, Excerpts and entrepreneurial skills while gaining to youth who have shown or voiced an Reprinted by permission, Generation E Institute. hands-on experience in starting their interest in being their own boss, owning Copyright© 2011, Generation E Institute. their own business, and making economic own businesses and implementing small economic projects.

Fall 2011






Youth Owned Enterprises: By John Weiss Executive Director of Neutral Zone

Wouldn’t it be the bomb if you could run your own record label? How about managing a 400-person concert venue and booking local hip hop, rock and alternative musicians for concerts every Saturday night? Or serving on a publishing board that produces and circulates cutting edge books by teens and professional authors? Well, that all happens at the Neutral Zone in Ann Arbor. Neutral Zone is a diverse, youth-driven teen center that offers these opportunities as well as several other amazing programs in music, arts, leadership and education. Though the Zone has been doing entrepreneurial kinds of projects over most of its 13-year history, the formal notion of “enterprise” has emerged just recently. It all started two years ago when teens Martin Reidy and Alia Persicos Shammas came to Neutral Zone’s Music Coordinator stating, “Teens run everything at the Neutral Zone, so how come they don’t run the studio?” In Neutral Zone fashion we responded, “Yes, teens should be running the studio, are you interested?” Martin and Alia were, and after writing a successful business plan and finishing a complete makeover of the studio space, the Orpheum, Youth Owned Studios, was born.





Since that time, we have been organizing five which provides programs together in a colteens an experience to book, run, lective that make up “Youth and manage concerts. Last year B-Side Owned Enterprises.” The programs are: hosted 22 concerts featuring 65 acts repYouth Owned Records (YOR) – the resenting diverse genres of music. first independent record label run by The Orpheum – a teen-managed and teens in the country. In the past two engineered recording studio with a taryears YOR has released three CDs and get market of high school teens, college have two CDs in production. They also students, and amateur musicians. Since booked a Midwest tour of soul/funk January 2010 the Orpheum has booked band Sole Transit with five stops. 50 clients in over 130 sessions. Red Beard Press – an independent, The Arts Services Diviyouth-driven publishing comsion (M.U.A.H.A.)– a pany dedicated to creating collective of teen artcutting-edge literary arts ists dedicated to creprojects, publishing ating and selling “My goal is to be either emerging voices, and artwork at local a professional musician inspiring passionate or work in the music venues and online literary communiindustry, and any galleries that also ties. Since summer experience I can get offers professional 2010, Red Beard has at this point in my art services to the published five books, life will help Neutral Zone prepare me each of which sold community. between 100-300 copies. for my M.U.A.H.A. is B-Side Promotions – a just launching its teen collective which operwork in fall 2011. ates a 400-person capacity, Lori Roddy, Associate Executive all ages concert venue and Director is excited about the emerging


Fall 2011


Raise It Up Youth Arts and Awareness

Location: Flint, MI About: RAISE IT UP! Youth Arts & Awareness promotes youth engagement, expression, and empowerment via the performing arts, community organizing, and social justice initiatives. We envision a world where young people are creative leaders and critical thinkers shaping their lives and the life of their community! Programs: n Flint Renaissance Intergenerational Mentoring Program n Workshop and Assembly Series n Youth Community Organizers n Brave New Voices n Training, Consulting and Performances

enterprise programs. “What a natural way to teach business, by blending teens’ passions in music, art and writing and wrapping it around enterprise programs. It helps them develop valuable skills while making a few bucks, it’s a beautiful thing.” Ryan Shea, one of the YOR and B-Side staff notes, “The opportunity for a teen to be on a record label or record in a professional quality recording studio is almost unheard of in most cities. The programs at the Neutral Zone, however, change the whole equation and provide the opportunity to local teens to have a genuine music industry experience. I am a musician, so everything that we have learned in the YOR programs is directly applicable to my prospective career. My goal is to be either a professional musician or work in the music industry, and any experience I can get at this point in my life will help prepare me for my future. I am also currently applying to music industry programs for college and my experiences at the Neutral Zone make me a very viable candidate because I have firsthand experience in the fields I would be studying.” To learn more about Neutral Zone, visit our website: www.neutral-zone. org or contact Executive Director, John Weiss at Story and photos printed by permission courtesy of the Neutral Zone. October 2011. Fall 2011

Q&A with Natasha Thomas Jackson, Co-Founder and Executive Director: How are the arts, creativity and entrepreneurship related? Creativity and entrepreneurship are natural allies. It would be difficult to start any business or endeavor without first having a creative vision. Not only that, but creativity helps you remain flexible; it allows you to creatively navigate challenges.

You’ve said your group works in “social entrepreneurship.” How would you define that? Making a career out of social good; creating a cycle of helping your community while benefiting yourself financially as an entrepreneur. Doing well for yourself by helping others do well for themselves.

Can you give us one example of a social entrepreneurship venture coming out of Raise It Up? We sent a team of youth poets to San Francisco to compete in an international poetry slam. They had a great experience and created a local vision from that experience. Now they are working to build a grant and donation funded program to teach and mentor other young performance artists and poets. They are also thinking about marketing, recruitment, and continued revenue beyond grant and donation funding.

What one piece of advice would you give a young person considering starting their own business? Be around the people who will help you develop your vision. Follow your passion and the money will follow rather than chasing money first and passion later. Your business should be fulfilling in multiple ways. Be a sponge and absorb all advice and mentorship you can. Natasha Thomas Jackson is the Executive Director of Raise It Up Youth Arts and Awareness. She co-founded the group with Lyn Williams, Raise It Up Program Director. She can be reached at More information on Raise It Up Youth Arts and Awareness can be found at






YES Countries: Angola Azerbaijan Bolivia Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Chile Colombia Cote D’Ivoire Dominican Republic Democratic Republic of Congo Egypt Gambia Guatemala Guinea Bissau Guyana Honduras India Iran Iraq Jordan Kenya Liberia Mauritius Mali Mexico Mozambique Namibia Nepal Nicaragua Nigeria Pakistan Peru Romania Rwanda Senegal Somalia South Africa Swaziland Uganda Uruguay USA Zambia 8


In 1998, YES was

a glimmer in the eyes of its founder Poonam Ahluwalia and in these 13 short years, it has accomplished its mission of placing youth employment on the global agenda and engaging youth as leaders. After 40 global consultations (1998 – 2002), YES was officially launched in 2002 at the first Global Summit on Youth Employment in Alexandria, Egypt that brought together more than 1,600 youth leaders, ministers, senior government officials, and business leaders, UN agencies, NGOs and others from some 120 countries. Former President Bill Clinton and Egyptian First Lady Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak served as honorary co-chairs. The YES initiative was created under the auspices of the Education Development Center (EDC), an international non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing learning and promoting health in countries throughout the world. Its primary objectives were: n Agenda Setting: Focus attention on the serious issue The of global youth poverty and knowledge the need for self-sustaining that makes a employment generation difference in through consultations and changing global summits. the world is n Youth Employment/Enknowledge trepreneurship: Promote that travels in-country youth employand mobilizes, ment and entrepreneurship shifting and to address key development creating new challenges through the forces and creation of YES Networks. agents of n Capacity Building: Dehistory in velop capacity of youth to its path lead in-country youth em- Anna Tsing ployment initiatives though project planning and implementation services.



n Partnerships: Build

in-country coalitions to develop national strategies to address youth unemployment. As part of that effort, they created and supported youth employment networks under the YES umbrella in more than 50 countries. In fact, YES was the catalyst for the government of Kenya to create a Ministry of Youth for the first time and establish a Youth Enterprise Fund. In Nigeria, policies developed by local YES leaders involving youth leadership and entrepreneurship were adopted by that country’s Senate. At the core of YES, however, are the more than 400 projects that have been developed and implemented by young people, most living in poor developing nations, under the YES umbrella. Some examples: n Mexico Business incubators for rural and urban settings: Pioneered by YES Mexico/ Foundation E, this approach uses existing local institutions to establish new kinds of business incubators designed to support rural and urban entrepreneurs with training, access to finance and innovative Business Development Services. n Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): Yes is establishing a microcredit and loan program to provide start-up capital for a wide range of green entrepreneurial enterprises and to provide mentoring and tutoring services for youth (between 14 and 35) from poor and homeless families. n Uganda: Yes has trained out-of-school youth in

business and management skills. The YES team in Uganda developed a model saving and credit cooperative concept but, with no collateral, has had difficulty obtaining loans. Plans are underway to develop entrepreneurship programs in the field of agro-forestry. Among other major achievements of YES: n Global Summits: Held 5 international summits in Egypt, Mexico, Kenya, Azerbaijan, Sweden and regional summits in India, Paraguay, the Dominican Republic, Panama, and Brazil. More than 20,000 stakeholders attended the summits, including cabinet ministers and heads of state. n Projects: Supported 55 YES Networks with the implementation of more than 400 youth employment projects impacting some one million young people, according to an independent study by the New Sector Alliance. n Knowledge Resource: Compiled more than 1,000 on-line resource documents on best practices and tools for youth employment. n Publications: Commissioned 150 original publications on youth employment. n Funding: Over $84 million USD have been raised by YES Networks since 2007; out of this total, $76 million have been raised by YES Mexico. YES has linked our Networks with funding support from government agencies and foundations that have resulted in projects in such areas as renewable energy, technical training for rural youth, and social entrepreneurship. Fall 2011

The Journey of Youth Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (YES) n Reach: Over 1 million

youth by 2006, according to an independent study conducted by New Sector Alliance of Boston. Since the First Global Youth Employment Summit in Alexandria, Egypt 2002, we have seen the establishment of a robust international youth employment agenda. Progress has been dramatic, from the addition of youth issues to the Millennium Development Goals, to the World Bank’s 2006 groundbreaking report on the State of the World’s Youth which was released at the YES Kenya Summit, to the adoption of comprehensive youth development policies and programs in many developing countries. Today there is widespread consensus among government leaders, international development agencies, foundations, and other stakeholders that: 1. Youth have an important role to play in the economic development future of developing nations; and, 2. Many more young people must have increased access to entrepreneurial education, decent employment, and livelihood opportunities if the world’s developing countries are to significantly reduce poverty. Now in 2011 the YES team finds itself in the same invention phase as in 1998. What is needed now in developing countries is building an entrepreneurial culture through repurposing universities as Youth Enterprise Generators through education and on-campus businesses. In the US, the YES Fall 2011

team intends to provide access to markets for young entrepreneurs and generate a robust demand for their goods. Both projects will accelerate the livelihood prospects of our youth through the transformational YES methodology.

YES USA launches YouthTrade™… An idea whose time has come After 13 years of working globally on youth entrepreneurship, the YES team launched YouthTrade™, built on a simple but big idea – providing markets for the products and goods of young American entrepreneurs under the age of 35. YouthTrade™ was born out of a simple question: how to align Conscious companies with Conscious entrepreneurs to provide (a) a space for contribution for the company, (b) a leg up for the entrepreneur by providing access to markets and (c) an easy way for consumers to contribute to both the company and the young entrepreneur by buying certified YouthTrade™ products. As the YES team began developing the concept, it became clear that with the US youth unemployment rate (ages 16 – 25) at a shocking 16.4 percent, many college graduates were turning to entrepreneurship as a way to build their futures. But for these young entrepreneurs one of the many hurdles that have to be crossed is how to get a piece of the consumer spending pie. To help these youth, the YES team has created YouthTrade™, what they believe is a game-changing initiative. YouthTrade™ (like Fair Trade) will certify young mem-

ber entrepreneurs’ products and then work to place these products in Fortune 1000 companies’ retail outlets, thereby accelerating the growth of the entrepreneur’s business. This will also provide an alluring opportunity for businesses to contribute to the US youth employment agenda, while benefiting from a powerful social media campaign that will be launched to showcase their conscious capitalism. Furthermore, it will drive the demand side by launching an extensive social and other media campaign to woo consumers, especially youth including Generation Y and the millennials.

Whole Foods: Paving the Way for YouthTrade The team has had some major early wins. Recently the North Atlantic Whole Foods Market Purchasing, Merchandising and Distribution team in Boston became the first company that agreed to place YouthTrade™ products on their shelves. As a Conscious company they have also offered to support YouthTrade™ entrepreneurs with merchandising and packaging and loans to equip them to serve the Whole Foods Market. In addition, they are hosting the first YouthTrade™ Summit in March 2012, which will showcase young entrepreneurs from New England and their products. This breakthrough has infused the YouthTrade™ team with joy and energy as they plan their Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) events in the US and in many of their 55 YES countries. The first batch of YouthTrade™ companies will be announced

at the upcoming GEW event – Youth Entrepreneurship Summit 2011: Jump Start America hosted by the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri, and organized in partnership with Conscious Capitalism Institute. At the Summit a Do Tank for YouthTrade™ will be set up to take inspired actions. This Do Tank will ensure that YouthTrade™ is grounded in the principles and practices of Conscious Capitalism. Soon YouthTrade™ products will be placed in the Whole Foods Markets North Atlantic Region and we want to share with you one young entrepreneur whose products are under consideration:

Proxy Apparel Entrepreneur: Heatherjean MacNeil, Age: 30 Proxy Apparel is an ethical fashion company dedicated to supporting women’s cooperatives around the world. Launched by thirty-year old Heatherjean MacNeil, this company is empowering and employing women through the sale of its trendy fair trade products, apparel, and gift line. Proxy’s fair trade accessories and home goods make a great addition to Whole Foods product offerings and Whole Trade philosophy. For more information on YES, please visit www.yesweb. org and follow us on Twitter at Twitter/YESGlobal. Photos, logos, and Initiative names are copyrighted property of YES Global.






New Flint network harkens back to entrepreneurial

Over the last century Flint, Michigan, came to be identified as the quintessential “company town.” General Motors and its related companies - Buick, Chevrolet, Fisher Body, AC Sparkplug, and others - employed over 100,000 workers in the city. This huge footprint obscured an important fact; that Flint used to be one of the most entrepreneurial cities in the world. First with furs, then lumber, carriages, bicycles, and eventually automobiles, Flint was the Silicon Valley of its day. Ideas were hatched, inventions created, and fortunes made. Flint is currently looking to its innovative past to create an entrepreneurial future. The YES Campaign (YES is an acronym for Youth, Entrepreneurship, and Sustainability) was launched in Egypt in 2002 and cochaired by President Bill Clinton. Over the next few years it grew to

10 l mybigidea l

include activities in 55 countries, but not until this year did YES have a functioning local program in the United States. A visit to Flint by the organization’s international president, Poonam Ahluwalia (see page 8), helped jumpstart efforts to get the program up-and-running. “In today’s economy, it is very important to foster hope in the youth that live in Flint and Genesee County,” notes Kenyetta Dotson, YES Flint Outreach Coordinator. “Many of these talented young people could easily relocate to another city but they choose to stay here and help contribute to our economic rebirth. We need to celebrate and support that.” YES Flint is a network designed to connect entrepreneurs, especially those between 16 and 36 years of age, and work with them to provide the tools to conceive, strengthen, and sustain their projects. The model is built on the power of mobilizing a network. As the first YES program in the United States, YES Flint is working to determine which individuals, programs, and organizations are needed to make the network effective. Work is already underway to develop a diverse and sustainable network that brings together service providers, nonprofits, educational institutions, forwardthinking companies, and entrepreneurs. Monthly meetings, a signature annual event, and site visits to other Michigan entrepreneurship sites, like Ann Arbor’s SPARK and Detroit’s TechTown, are all in the works. Individuals with tech, retail or service start-up concepts, social entrepreneurs, and those in the creative economy are all potential participants. Jason Caya, of the Flint Area Reinvestment Office, sees the value of the network. “At a time when resources are limited and opportunities are few, it is essential to have programs like YES Flint. It inspires and motivates young entrepreneurs to strive for success while giving back to others who are searching for ways to launch their own powerful ideas.” The future of Flint and mid-Michigan is not set in stone; and it is not for others to decide. To borrow from the theme of an upcoming YES event, it will take information, inspiration, and implementation to re-build our communities. YES Flint plans to help do just that. For more on YES Flint please visit us on Facebook or email Fall 2011

Matt Swanson Trent Luft

Morgan Moberg

Kassidy Wigand

Pierce Mayville

Garek Dyzel

The first Youth Business Venture Showcase was held during Youth Day at the Upper Peninsula State Fair. The event was developed by the Delta Schoolcraft Youth Entrepreneurship Alliance (DSYEA). The DSYEA is comprised of members from MSU Extension/4H, Michigan Works, Hannahville Youth Services, Escanaba DDA and Delta County EDA. The mission of the group is to INSPIRE, ENGAGE, and EMPOWER youth by “Helping them Mind their Own Business.” The showcase was promoted by partners of DSYEA delivering the Generation E Institute Program, which provides a foundation for middle and high school-aged students to explore entrepreneurship as a viable career pathway. Local support for implementation of Generation E was made possible through a Hannahville 2% Grant. The Generation E Program takes youth from the development of an idea for a product or service to the creation of a business plan and ends with the youth actually starting their businesses by selling their products or services. Thirteen local youth entrepreneurs competed in the event. Competitors were scored on both their business plans as well as a presentation to judges. Top winning youth entrepreneurs and their businesses were: Luft, Just Tape It – unique, funky, handcrafted duct tape items. n Jim Smith, Random Access Memory – quirky comical retro art and jewelry. n Matt Swanson, Tater Tots – unique potato stamped tee shirts and bibs. n Trent

Other youth entrepreneurs competing in the showcase included: Fall 2011

Jim Smith

Dave Radloff- Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development

Allard, Alyssa’s Garden Art n Morgan Moberg, M & M Custom– uniquely designed stepping stones. ized Wood Art – customized wood burned signs. n Pierce Mayville, Crayondles – candles created from recycled crayons. n Edward Lantange, My Plate, Your Plate – a specially designed n Danielle Baxter, Corn Away – portion controlled plate to assist handmade corn bags that can be heated everyday people in battling obesity. or frozen to alleviate aches and pains. n Garek Dyzel, Darth Direct – Local sponsorship from a compilation of community businesses goat meat recipes, a and organizations for new alternative to “ I never perfected the event provided traditional meat. an invention the alliance with the that I did not think n Emma Barron, opportunity to about in terms Emmie’s Wateraward cash prizes of the service it color Paintings and to be “angel might give others... investors” for all – cards and note I find out what the participants to concards created from world needs, then tinue to implement original watercolor I proceed to invent.” their new businesses paintings. - Thomas Edison or create new ones. n Josh Myers, Fun Sponsors included Fitness by the Hour – EMP, Baybank, Pit Stop interactive educational Quick Lube, Blue PX Media, activities and exercises for kids. Garceau Wenick-Kutz Mogowan n Lexi Mayers, Fun Frames by Lexi – Insurance Agency, Great Lakes Center customized photo frames. for Youth Development, Northern Michn Kassidy Wigand, Kassidy’s Creigan Bank & Trust, ProServ, Inc. Delta ations – giant marshmallows dunked County Jaycees, and Little Bay Concrete. in chocolate to cure any sweet tooth. mybigidea 11 n Alyssa



DeWitt Creativity Group

DCG students meet with Michigan Governor Snyder at the GLITTH conference.

Jason LaFay and Jeff Croley, Dewitt High School Teachers, founded the DeWitt Creativity Group (DCG) in 2008. DCG’s main focus is to promote student creativity in connection with public service and entrepreneurship.

Students from the DeWitt Creativity Group had a unique op-

Thinks Global

to and from the Port of Halifax through the Detroit and Port portunity to participate in a summit that discussed trade between the U.S. Midwest Huron gateways. Acand Canada. For entrepreneurs and those cording to GLITTH, creating a freight hub interested in economic development, near these two crossings global trade is a critical component could create 66,000 for economic sustainability jobs in Michigan. The and growth. The event, the summit hosts were Great Lakes International Michigan State UniTrade and Transport versity; the Prima Hub (GLITTH) Sum“ Innovation Civitas Foundation; mit, aimed to discuss distinguishes and Dalhousie ways to stimulate between a University in Halitrade between the leader and fax, Nova Scotia, Great Lakes region, a follower” Canada. Ontario, and Nova – Steve Jobs, American “Going into the Scotia using entrepreneur and GLITTH conferemerging ence, I thought I was global sup- Apple co-Founder going to be a thorn in ply chain soluthe side of all the CEOs tions. The goal is and the politicians, just trying to capitalize on the imto insert my views as much as I could mense freight traffic regarding K-12 Education and the trade hub concept as a whole,” adds Jason Traub, a DeWitt student conference participant.

12 l mybigidea l

The students’ experiences at the summit, however, were quite different. “Everyone not only advocated for the educational system becoming more involved in this issue, but they wanted our opinions as well. Instead of trying to throw our views in the discussions as much as we could, we were put in the spotlight and our viewpoints were regarded with respect,” concludes Traub. Why were the conference attendees so eager to engage the DeWitt students in the conversation? Rachel Heinze, another student participant, notes, “We are

Fall 2011

the future and we need to start getting educated about this. We have a major problem with trade between our countries and if they do not get it solved now, then it will be left for us to fix.” Students commented on opportunities to network with decision makers, learning new information about the concept of international trade and their Canadian neighbors, and better awareness

of some of the challenges in promoting international trade as major conference takeaways. “Prior to this conference, my knowledge on supply trade management was slim to none. Now I am considering it as a potential major for my studies in college. I am very interested in domestic and international trade, and I had no idea how in-demand supply chain managers are in Michigan,” notes Traub.

Classroom Opportunity: Fourth Annual 2012 IGNITE Youth Business Plan Competition

has had her story featured in the New During National EntrepreneurYork Times and The Huffington Post, among ship Week, February 18 – 25, 2012, the other publications. IGNITE team will coordinate its fourth Annie Munson, a winner in the 2011 annual business plan competition. The competition, also leveraged her prize competition encourages Michigan stumoney to improve her business, Vibrant dents in grades 6-12 to conceptualize a Images Photography, by purchasing business and draft business plans. They a more technically advanced camera. then submit those plans for a chance to Although she had been taking photowin start-up stipends for their fledgling graphs for family and friends for some businesses. The real crux of IGNITE’s time, the competition allowed competition, however, is that her to take her business to every submission receives the next level. “It really feedback from a volunhelped me organize my teer panel of entreprethoughts. It really neurial experts. The “ I don’t believe helped me lay out goal is for students in failure. the finances needed to review the feedIt’s not failure to launch a real busiback to learn the if you enjoyed ness,” she states. It basic components the process.” took her almost 15 of feasible business – Oprah Winfrey, hours to write and plans. talk show host, edit her plan, but in IGNITE developed businesswoman, and the end she feels it was the business plan worth it. Now a college competition in 2008 as a philanthropist student at MSU studying way for Michigan educators Nursing and International and parents to engage youth in Business, Annie continues to pursue her a fun, statewide competition that revolves passion for photography, although she around entrepreneurship. Each year, admits she has had to shift her business the IGNITE Advisory Council adds new plan somewhat to accommodate her colelements to make the competition more legiate schedule. When asked her advice dynamic. The 2011 contest added awards for students considering entering the for the best science and technology based business. 2012 will see even more opportu- 2012 competition, she says, “Make [the nities with the inclusion of essay and video business plan] as detailed as possible. It will really help you set pitch opportunities. Alexandra Reau (see feature on page 1) goals and predict what might hapwon the first ever IGNITE competition for her entry Garden to Go, a Communi- pen in the future.” Leah Simon, anty Supported Agriculture Business plan, other winner in the and was able to leverage her winnings 2011 competition, to purchase necessary start-up supplies adds this piece of for her garden. In the three years since, advice to prospecher business has tripled in size, and she Fall 2011

“I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to attend the Great Lakes International Trade and Transport Hub Summit,” said Heinze. “What I have experienced, I could not have learned from a textbook. This experience gave me an opportunity to network and make connections with people who could help me with my future.”

tive youth entrepreneurs: “Pick something you’re interested in - a hobby or an activity you already know something about. Pick something where Leah Simon you already know people who might be part of your target market.” For Leah, that hobby was horses. Her winning entry, Equestrian Tack and Apparel, was a consignment service for high-end saddles and horseback riding gear. Although she has taken a break from her business while attending Northwood University, she stills values the experience. “It changes the way you look at money,” she notes. Excitement for the 2012 competition continues to build as the details of the competition are being planned. New features for 2012 will include online business plan submission, an essay contest, a video pitch and much larger cash prizes. To ensure you receive the latest on competition announcements, including the official competition entry materials, follow us on Facebook at /MovingIdeastoMarket. Annie Munson





14 l mybigidea l

Fall 2011

On why entrepreneurship is important:

“Entrepreneurship is difficult to define. Everyone seems to Eric Jorgensen, a native of Grosse Pointe, has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. have a different definiWhen he was young, he recalls getting into trouble for selling candy to his classmates tion, and most of them from his locker. For the past several years he has attended Michigan State Univerare terrible. I see it sity (MSU), developed several small businesses including bamboo t-shirt import and as a nebulous sort of web design companies, and helped develop a support system for other like-minded approach to life that students. He played a key role in developing the Hatch, MSU’s student business leads to problems beincubator (, has hosted several Startup Weekends (http:// ing solved in the best, and served as a founding member of MSU’s entrepreneurial manner possible. Mine support group, E-Net ( might be terrible too, During the summer of 2011, Eric moved to Kansas City to work for a small start-up called Zaarly, which who knows? I try to live by it, anyaims to change the way that online shopping and commerce operate. He currently lives in San Francisco, way. Entrepreneurship California, where he continues to work with Zaarly. is the start of all good We asked Eric to talk about his experiences and explain what he wished he had known as a high school things – the transformastudent that would have made his entrepreneurial experiences easier. tion of idea to tangible reality that improves people’s lives. I think it’s the most beautiful, doing pretty much anything you want On being from Michigan: incredible thing in the world, and I’m to. Classes are about 5% of the college “There are some awesome things about glad every day to watch it happen experience. Go learn something cool being from Michigan. Never be intimibefore me.” outside the classroom. It’s much more dated or feel like you’ll be ill-prepared likely that what you do with your free compared to anyone else. We have some On living in a time will define your career and your life amazing educational resources, and the “global economy”: than what you are compelled to do. economic diversity of our state breeds “When I was in high school, I can safeAlso, major in something that makes thoughtful and well-versed entrepreneurs. ly say I was not incredibly well-informed you think, not just learn: this includes On another note, Midwestern kindabout the ‘global economy’. I guess I’ll math, engineering, economics and comness, work ethic, and attitudes are highly never know what I missed, but I think puter science. valued in the country as a whole. We that’s okay. When it comes down to it, Lastly, never merely learn; always seek are a good bunch, raised well without there is a limit to how much information to do something with what you learn. entitlement or presumption. This is not we can meaningfully digest in a given day. a value to be underestimated. Many lives You’ll find that lessons become much There are undoubtedly things to be are made or broken based on just being a more practical and become experiences learned from situations all over the that remain with you for life. good, hard-working person.” world and throughout history, and by Go meet people. Meet loads of differall means, make every effort to learn and ent people, hang out with them, and get On going to college: understand – always. But honestly, focus them all to hang out with each other. “College is an amazing, incredible, your time and energy on understanding Always be nice, be friendly, and connect transformative thing. It’s a magical as much as possible of the environment people. It’ll pay off.” place where you can spend your time you operate in (or intend to). Fall 2011





If you’re starting a skateboard store, the Grecian debt crisis may not be the best use of time, if you could be learning all of the potential suppliers around the world. Seek out the information that is most relevant to you quickest. That said, in my experience some of my greatest insights have come from odd inputs that coincide well. I try to always learn about something random from time to time – you’ll be surprised how much this helps broaden your view. The best way to fully appreciate and take in a global economy, I believe, is through people. Meet and dive deeply into the lives and experiences of a widely diverse group of people.”

On thinking entrepreneurially or “outside of the box:”

If you can’t think differently, see things that others can’t, and act entrepreneurially, then you may be in for a grimly boring career. Increasingly, many things are achievable through computer and software. Even the most prestigious careers like medicine and law could be reduced to if: then statements, which means even doctors and lawyers face the risk of being replaced by computers at some point. Thinking differently - finding new creative solutions to problems - is a uniquely human talent and, in the long run, our only value. Cultivate this ability. Solving problems, seeing creative solutions, and being innovative are the greatest-value skills on the planet. Try to practice this mindset at all times. Constantly evaluate and try to improve your surroundings for yourself and others. Imagine, pretend, invent, and create. Draw and write these new ideas in a notebook. If you see someone struggling with a product, imagine something that might solve their problem. If you are aggravated with something, pretend it was solved, and think about what the solution might have been. It will be the best practice for developing a nimble, powerful, and creative mind. Google around and find some interesting innovation games that give you constraints and inspire you to sharpen your mind on some new, intriguing puzzles.”

16 l mybigidea l

Taking risks:

“There are risks that are great ideas, and there are risks that are awful ideas. So, develop a great process of assessing risk. Get a blank sheet of paper and write out a proposed action and all of the possible results (a good list and a bad list) – and the likely odds of each one. Also, take time to write out what you would do to counteract any of the bad things that could happen. You may be surprised at how minimal the damages could be compared to what you had expected. As far as risk in starting a business – as long as you aren’t going into debt to do it, it is probably a fantastic idea in terms of learning and experience. Whether you make money or not, start. Do something. Be willing to risk some money (again, no debt) – but be willing to invest in yourself and take a chance on success. If you aren’t willing to gamble a little on yourself, there might be something off. Maybe the idea isn’t great, the timing isn’t right, or you feel like you don’t quite know enough.” Eric also offered up a few key pieces of advice to high school students thinking about starting their own businesses: “Take a leap. You’re never going to be more than 50% prepared or knowledgeable of any situation you’re going into. But that’s life. Get used to it, have some guts and make a move. That said, move with efficiency. Do the minimum work necessary to learn something, or prove to yourself that you’ve got something worth pursuing. For example, don’t build a website, get a logo made, order 5,000 shirts, and then try to sell your first one. Buy five, try to sell them to people you know, and see what happens. If they love it, and you get ten more people who want them – awesome, go buy 100, throw up a Facebook page, and get rocking. Baby steps. But fast ones!” Eric’s final advice for young aspiring entrepreneurs encourages problem solving and embracing mistakes. “Two final thoughts. First, mistakes are the best teachers – so go make some. Second, good businesses solve problems. Go find a problem to solve, and fall in love with solving it. Never fall in love with your solution, but with solving the problem.”

Teens Are Interested in Entrepreneurship A recent survey of over 2,000 U.S. high school juniors (ages 16–17) conducted by Junior Achievement and the National Chamber Foundation assessed students’ understanding and attitude toward entrepreneurship. Key findings from the study include: n One in seven juniors (15%) has experience starting businesses. n More than nine in ten (91%) believe it is important that students are taught about entrepreneurship, including 41% who believe it is absolutely essential. n More than one-half of the juniors (56%) have been taught about entrepreneurship or starting or owning a business, either during a class at school (45%), a school organization or program (13%), or an organization or program outside of school (7%). n Six in ten juniors (64%) are interested in starting or owning their own business someday. n 98% of students surveyed felt that the freedom to start one’s own business contributes to the success of America. To view the full report, visit Originally published September 2011, Reprinted by permission, National Chamber Foundation, September 2011. Copyright© 2011, National Chamber Foundation. Fall 2011

t the age of seven, two major events occurred that altered the course of my life. The first was a Christmas gift. Many people think that spinning I received a turntable. I would sit and tunes is easy, but they are sadly misinplay with my Yamaha DJX for hours at formed. It is definitely a fun job, but a time, perfecting my skills. The other it also takes a lot of preparation and event was an introduction to the music practice. of a phenomenon known as Michael I constantly find myself reviewing new Jackson. Like the rest of the world, I was and popular music and putting in long fascinated from the time I heard the first hours of practice – 15 to 20 a week. In beat. By the next year, I was winning addition to practicing, I have responsitalent shows all over Michigan with my bilities as a business owner. As my busiMichael Jackson impersonness grew, I established ation. I sang. I danced. I did it BenJamin’ Entertainment. all. After seven years, a record A disc jockey Managing, booking, and is a person who deal with One World Artists, scheduling are full time selects and and many performances and jobs. I’m constantly makplays recorded tours with artists such as B2K, ing phone calls, faxing music for an Ying Yang twins, Ready for contracts and checking my audience. He the World, Lil Romeo, and or she has the schedule. It’s a lot of work, many more, I hung up my power to use but I love it. I love entersparkling glove and found my the gift of music taining. I love seeing the true passion - providing music to bring happismiles on peoples’ faces. and entertainment as a DJ. ness and fun to

people’s lives. No matter what you call them, disc jockey or DJ, they’re all the same, and I’m one of them. My business is entertaining. I am DJ Ben Jamin’, and I’m a professional DJ.

Fall 2011

Though I love entertaining, I will not stop there. My wish is to expand BenJamin’ Entertainment. Recording, production, entertainment venues, or anything that needs entertainment - I want to have a piece of it. I have used my skills as a DJ to entertain people of all ages and cultural backgrounds, performing at weddings, school dances, birthday parties, pool parties, college parties, festivals, and even fundraisers. I will use my established base to reach new heights. I have grand aspirations and the drive to reach them. I am not sure where this business will take me, but I know the music will never stop. Benjamin “BenJamin’” Baker attended the GASC Technology Center and took two full years of Entrepreneur Courses: Entrepreneur I & Global Entrepreneur. While at the Tech Center, Ben was a member of DECA, an international group of instructors and students of marketing, where he won the opportunity to attend the annual DECA International Career Development Conference. Benjamin now serves as a State of Michigan DECA Officer for the 2011-12 school year. An inaugural 2011 winner of the Betsy and Dick DeVos Scholars for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Scholarship, Ben plans to attend Northwood University this fall, where he will study Marketing with a concentration in International Business.





Nonprofit Orgainzation U.S. Postage

325 E. Grand River Ave, Suite 275 East Lansing, MI 48823


Lansing, MI Permit NO. 240

Want to integrate entrepreneurship and innovation into your curriculum? Check out this resource! Be the E

ities and more at http://new.4-hcurricis an exciting National economics, math, and English/language On 4-H Youth Development curriculum that arts skills to entrepreneurial ideas. To order Be the E go to http://www.4the Michigan 4-H website you will also helps young people learn what it takes a Be the E informational PowerPoint to become an entrepreneur. It covers entrepreneurship.aspx and check out and single sheet informational flier along everything from the skills and traits of their online site where you’ll find a fun with other youth entrepreneurship acentrepreneurs to the creation of a busiBe the E Jeopardy PowerPoint game tivities and resources at http://4h.msue. ness plan. Recognizing the value that and can view sample activ- Be the E offers in the school setting as well as in traditional 4-H clubs, the Michigan 4-H Career and Workforce Prep work group recently set aside time to align the curriculum with Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations and High School Fall seven times, Content Expectations for stand up eight the sixth through twelfth - Japanese Proverb grades.  Perhaps one of n the greatest advantages the Find a regularly updated compilation of news articles program offers is that youth featuring Michigan’s youth entrepreneurs, sample are involved in fun, real world lesson plans, information on upcoming IGNITE activities that activities and opportunities. allow them to learn and apply n social studies, All you could want to know about Generation E and their Student Business Showcase. Find out how to become a Generation E school.

Interested in learning more about youth entrepreneurship opportunities? Check out a few resources!


Michigan 4-H’s extensive list of youth entrepreneurship offerings including curricula, workshops, local events and activities, and guides on starting your own 4-H entrepreneurship club. (It isn’t just farm animals and fairs anymore!)


Junior Achievement of Michigan has eight offices around the state to help you teach students about free enterprise and entrepreneurship.


Photos and information reprinted by permission courtesy of MSU Extension and Michigan 4-H Foundation. October 2011.

The Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education is your source for the latest in best practices and innovative ideas in entrepreneurship education. They also host National Entrepreneurship Week each February, hold the premier national conference on entrepreneurship education, and publish the online magazine Future CEO Stars.

My Big Idea Magazine  

Inaugural magazine highlighting positive entrepreneurship and innovation news for Michigan youth.

My Big Idea Magazine  

Inaugural magazine highlighting positive entrepreneurship and innovation news for Michigan youth.