ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) – Each year high school students submit their small business plans to the BIG Idea Competition, mocking up ways to solve problems and challenges in their community. And even though this year’s competition will be held online, organizers are still excited to see what students submit.
The competition, in which high school students submit small business ideas to a panel of judges, will be entirely online this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The final contest was scheduled to take place physically at Northern State University. However the competition will still run a normal schedule, with the final contest online on December 9th, and stands to hand out over $30,000 in cash and scholarships. Kelly Weaver is the Coordinator for the BIG Idea Competition, as well as the regional director of the Small Business Development Center. She said that even though the final contestants won’t be able to all meet up at the end of the year, the event will still be a success.
“In addition to introducing them to entrepreneurship, it’s just making connections for those students that are in high school, looking to what their future careers would be. It’s a career exploration activity and connecting them with mentors, and as having another adult that can support their ideas and their passions, and where they would like to go.” said Weaver.
But going online also opens up opportunities for new students to get involved, as well as add elements to the final event.
“One thing with a virtual event, we’re able to reach a little bit further in terms of a speaker. We’re able to bring somebody in from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve to speak to the students about the importance of small business.”
Even with the online only end to the competition, the numbers are already looking good. The window to submit an idea opened on September 1st, and will remain open until the end of October.
“We kind of track the numbers as we go. It’s only been open since September 1st, and already we have 42 students that have created an account and there’s probably seven different schools that they represent. Two schools that have not participated before out of those seven. So, every year we see new schools participating, which is exciting.”
More information about the BIG Idea Competition, and where to register can be found here.
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