The Chester Rotary Club got details on the Monroe/Randolph Counties Start Up Program, designed to teach entrepreneurship to students, at its Sept. 26 meeting
Formerly known as the CEO program (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities), the name was changed as the result of a feeling that the group was outgrowing the CEO brand. The group continues to be successful.
This year, 14 youth members are enrolled in the bicounty organization. They meet daily from 1:30-3 p.m. at varying locations to accommodate the members. Three students are from Red Bud, seven from Steeleville and four from Sparta. Chester High School hopes to have students in the program again next year, according to Jamie Matthews, program facilitator.
Throughout the year, Matthews said, students experience more than 30 business hours. Approximately 40 guest speakers will visit the class to share their professional knowledge and experience with the students. Each student, during the school year, will create his or her own business that will be debuted to the public at a trade show near the end of the school year. Students also participate in a shark tank event and experience other team building activities. To date, the class has visited several businesses in the bicounty area
. Matthews stated the Start Up Program is always in need of investors, supporters and mentors. Anyone interested may contact Cole Stenzel, Vice President of Buena Vista National Bank in Red Bud.