In an effort to grow business, Hancock County is targeting some of its younger residents.
Hancock County will soon be offering its high school juniors and seniors a chance to learn the skills and tools needed to open their own business.
A yearlong CEO class focuses on creating entrepreneurial opportunities will be offered beginning in the fall of 2015.
“They spend the first semester visiting businesses, establishing relationships with owners and learning how to start a business,” Carthage Community Development Director Amy Graham said. “In the second semester they write their own business plan, develop a product and present their product or business at a trade show.”
Students will have to apply to participate. The class will be meet Monday through Friday in places of business likely outside of regular school hours.
Graham said more than a dozen businesses have already expressed interesting in participating in the program and they hope to expose students to as many businesses as possible.
“These kids drive by these businesses all the time and they have no idea what goes on behind those doors,” Graham said. “So we are trying to breakdown those barriers and let the kids know there are viable opportunities in Hancock County to start your own business.”
Hancock County Economic Development Corporation is paying $20,000 to Midland Institute out of Effingham to offer the class.
“The hope is, and this is what has been proven in Effingham, that the kids will realize they can start their own business and then if they do choose to go away to college or whatever they do that they will come back to their community knowing that they have a viable opportunity to open their own business,” Graham said.
Graham said they’re currently looking for individuals and business sponsors while raising money for a program instructor’s salary.