COLUMBUS - While many students in the county have their eyes set on the upcoming holidays, and the few weeks away from school they usher in, some have their sights a little further ahead. That's thanks to the Cherokee County Economic Development Corporation, who along with the Cherokee County E-Community, will host the third annual Cherokee County Youth Entrepreneur Fair on March 1, at Columbus Unified High School.

The popular entrepreneurship competition is open to all high school students from the Baxter Springs, Columbus, Galena, Riverton and Southeast school districts. Students may compete as individuals or in teams of up to four. Entrants will present their business concepts with a written business plan, a two minute elevator pitch to judges and a tabletop display.

“We have had a terrific response to our first two Youth Entrepreneur Fairs and expect this year to be no exception,” said Economic Development Director Janet Miller. “We are excited to see what creative business ideas entrants come up with and hope the Entrepreneur Fair will help encourage the next generation of local entrepreneurs.”

Winners will receive cash prizes, and the top prize winner has the opportunity to continue on to a statewide competition on April 24. Miller said that even though the competition is months away, students have already begun preregistering.

For more information on the event including how to enter, visit www.facebook.com/ckefair/ or contact Miller at 620-762-0717.

Ice House Program to be Offered Again

The Cherokee County Entrepreneurship Community will again be offering the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program in early 2017. The Ice House Program is a nine-week course that allows participants to learn from successful real-world entrepreneurs and develop the skills to identify entrepreneurial opportunities and to transform an idea into a sustainable success.

The course will be held from 5:45 p.m. to 8:15 pm on Wednesday evenings starting March 8, and running through May 10. The program will be led by certified Ice House facilitator Shelley Paasch. Classes will take place at Galena High School. The program cost is $100 for adult participants from Cherokee County, $75 for high school and college students from Cherokee County and $150 for adults and students from outside of Cherokee County. All are eligible for a $25 refund upon completion of at least seven of the nine course sessions. The cost includes all course materials as well as refreshments at each session.

To learn more about the program or to register, contact Janet Miller at 620-762-0717 or ecodev@cherokeecounty-ks.gov.