By Beccy Tanner
Two teams and four St. John High School students are the county winners in this year’s Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge.
Ryer Ward, placed first in the contest, which was held Feb. 7 at the Stafford County Annex.
He receives $750 and a chance to compete at the state competition on April 16th at Kansas State University in Manhattan.
His entry was called “The Pocket Shop” and details a business that would make breakfast rolls or pockets with filling.
Second place winners are Garrett McAlister, Willow Murphy, and Uricke Engelbrecht for their entry of “Unraveling Fibers.” Their business would include a subscription service for crocheting and needlework projects.
They receive $500 and have a chance at applying to be a wild card team in the statewide contest.
To participate, students must submit an executive summary of a business proposal and do an in-person presentation.
Each team is then judged on their business’s marketability, niche, and ability to grow their company as well as model.
This year’s judges included: Lea Ann Seiler, from Network Kansas; Trisha Greene, 21st Central District K-State Extension; Angela Peterson, St. John-Hudson USD 350 elementary principal; and Ryan Russell, director of Stafford County Economic Development.
Stafford County Economic Development with funding from South Central Community Foundation hosted the local YEC competition and sponsors the students to attend the state-wide competition.
EcoDevo is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to promote economic and population growth throughout the county by assisting local businesses, engaging in community activities, and promoting Stafford County as a great place to live, work, and play.