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Challenge accepted

Hannah Snyder, daughter of Steve and Nancy Snyder, was among 60 other students from across Kentucky to participate in a resident program to study entrepreneurship at Transylvania University as part of the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs (GSE).

Snyder and three other students were tasked with developing a business model for manufacturing and marketing a locking system for added security in homes. As the program enters its final days and her team is finalizing their pitch for investors, Snyder described the experience as eye opening.

“I learned life and leadership skills that I would not have found anywhere else,” Snyder said in a press release from the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs. “I am truly thankful I had the honor of attending.”

The Kentucky Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs opened its doors to the first group of high school entrepreneurs in 2013 with the mission to bring teens from across the state into a three week resident program and immerse them in an entrepreneurial culture to learn more about the opportunities, skills, resources, benefits and pitfalls of taking a business concept from the idea phase to pitching it to potential investors.

The business accelerator program starts with teens from across the state applying with either a business idea or offering to use their particular skills to help another student develop their idea. A group of entrepreneurs selects the ideas and students they think have the best chance of going from the business concept to pitching for financial backing in three weeks.

Upon arrival, students are assembled in teams, taught the basics of the Business Model Canvas, given access to media, computers, equipment and material needed to develop software, prototypes, and do market research.

While building a working team, They are welcome to tour numerous businesses and interact with a broad range of successful, not so successful and struggling entrepreneurs.

They are introduced to coding, website design, equipment to construct prototypes, and team building skills. They identify customers, competitors, suppliers, business types, business plans, costs for start up, the breakeven point, financing streams, fixed and variable costs, marketing, income streams, and resources.

Entrepreneurs leave the program with not only the real world tools to start a business, but a network of contacts from around the state, which includes other students, businesses, and business leaders. Thanks to the Kentucky Department of Education and numerous business and private supporters, the Governor’s School of Entrepreneurs is completely free for those entrepreneurs selected. Those interested in learning more about the Governor’s School of Entrepreneurs can visit at www.kentuckygse.com.