Work | Entrepreneurship
One of the objectives of the Iowa Lakes Corridor is to develop the next generation of successful entrepreneurs and leaders by encouraging youth to pursue the creation of new ventures and apply entrepreneurship concepts in their career endeavors.
The Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute was first held in 2006 and provided a week-long business simulation and class-room training to 24 Iowa Regent’s University students, along with the opportunity to meet several successful Iowa entrepreneurs and experience the Iowa Great Lakes region. Now, 32 students are selected each year from the Iowa Regents Universities as well as Buena Vista University and Iowa Lakes Community College. The program has provided significant momentum and support for additional entrepreneurship programming in the region. Learn more about OEI by clicking Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute above.
Junior Achievement is an organization dedicated to teaching students about entrepreneurship through hands-on programs. What began in 1919 as an after school program for high school students has grown to include middle and elementary school students, as well as programs that are incorporated into school curriculum. JA now reaches 9.7 million students worldwide each year; over 50 million have been involved in JA since its inception. Three schools in the Corridor region are incorporating JA into their curriculum. Junior Achievement continues in the Corridor
Be Your Own Boss
Over 200 high school students from the Iowa Lakes Corridor region attended the first Be Your Own Boss seminar in April 2008 at the Clay County Events Center in Spencer, Iowa. Keynote speakers included Tom Bedell, former chairman of Pure Fishing, and David Hensley of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Iowa. Several break-out sessions were held for students to learn from other young entrepreneurs about their business ventures. The seminar was held again November 5, 2008 at Arrowwood Resort in Okoboji with over 280 high school students from 10 high schools participating and in April 2010 with 12 high schools participating! The 2012 program was held April 25th at Arrowwood Resort in Okoboji with nearly 75 students participating. You can read about it here: Fifth annual Be Your Own Boss seminar held
Business Plan Competition
High schools throughout the Corridor region are invited to participate in the regional business plan competition each spring. Students work with their business teacher throughout the year to create a viable business plan. Students present their plans to a panel of judges and compete for cash prizes given to them by the Corridor. Winning plans are authentic, realistic, and well thought through. Students show knowledge of the field, confidence, and passion. Read about the 2012 business plan competition here. Students compete in regional business plan competition
The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation sponsored the first Middle School Entrepreneurship Academy in August 2008. Eleven youth from the region participated in a week-long camp at the Spencer Middle School, learning about developing a business idea and business plan. The program was offered again in July 2009 and 2010. The 2011 Entrepreneurship Academy was held in July at the Iowa Lakes Community College Spencer Campus. Read about the Academy and the students here: Students graduate from 2011 Entrepreneurship Academy. The 2012 Entrepreneurship Academy was held July 9-13. The 2013 Academy will be held July 8-12. Applications can be downloaded here: 2013 Academy Application
Contactor for details and questions about this program.