The Labette County Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge took place this week with two competitors, Alice Carnahan, a freshman at Labette County High School, and Lathe Smith, a junior at LCHS.

“Our winner was Alice Carnahan, who won first place, $1,000, with her business Ooops I Grid It Again, a soil sampling business,” said event organizer Julie Smith, K-State Research and Extension Wildcat District family resource management and entrepreneurship agent. “Lathe Smith also won $150 with his business Visual Editing and Design Company.”

The event was held virtually on March 19 and consisted of a written executive summary, a formal presentation and a trade show display.

Executive summaries were turned in two days prior to the presentations to allow judges time to look over the students’ business plans. Zoom was used for the formal presentation and trade show in front of judges.

“Special thank you to Dustin Wiley at USD 506 for his assistance in the project and to all of our judges,” Smith said. “Dustin served as a USD 506 contact for the HELP Group with organization of the event, etc. In these COVID times especially, it’s vital to have someone that students trust and see every day to help promote the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge from the inside.” 

Carnahan’s win at the county level qualifies her to compete at the state YEC, which will be held virtually April 27, if she wants to enter.

The Labette County YEC event is sponsored by the Altamont HELP group in conjunction with Network Kansas.

“So many of our local businesses have started and grown to be successful because someone had an idea. The YEC encourages students to think of opportunities that are available right here in their own backyards,” Smith said. “The partnership between the Altamont HELP group and Network Kansas is vital to continuing the YEC in Labette County. We are hopeful to include students from multiple schools for an in-person event in 2022.”

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