Nicholasville’s Francke graduates from Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute

Published 12:03 pm Thursday, September 7, 2017

Jessamine County student Zach Francke was among 20 other high school students to learn what it takes to start and manage a successful business this summer at The Center for Rural Development’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute (ELI).

Francke, a member of the ELI “The Underdogs” business team, developed a business plan for an online, customizable clothing store, “Snazzy Snaps,” which features do-it-yourself kits of interchangeable snaps used to customize blue jeans and other clothing items.

“ELI helped me to grow my leadership skills and showed me how much work it takes to start and operate a business,” said Francke, a senior at Lexington Christian Academy in a press release from The Center for Rural Development.

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Teams of students from 13 Southern and Eastern Kentucky counties worked to create business concepts for a cell phone case with a high-tech cooling device, an online customizable clothing store, a tourism-related designation package, an after school child-care program and a non-profit organization for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Francke is the son of Ken and Crinda Francke of Nicholasville.

ELI is presented by The Center for Rural Development in partnership with Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, Eastern Kentucky University, University of the Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Community and Leadership Development Department), and the Kentucky Innovation Network.

For more information on ELI and The Center’s youth leadership programs, contact youth programs coordinator Delaney Stephens at 606-677-6000 or email, or visit