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WVU hosts Governor’s School of Entrepreneurship
Studies and surveys show that West Virginia is declining economically. Teens are fighting back.
The Governor’s School of Entrepreneurship invited 29 high schoolers going into grades 10-12 to WVU’s campus. GSE is a three-week program that teaches entrepreneurial skills to aid students creating their own businesses.
“What haven’t I learned?” said Sam Snyder, a student. “So far we’ve learned how to start up a business, the in and outs and how much work it actually entails.”
West Virginia is usually ranked low when it comes to its economy.
“The best way to change that is from the inside out, rather than waiting for some monster company to come in from another state to rescue us,” said Jeremy Turner, a GSE business coach. “If we continue to do the same things we’ve always done, we’ll keep getting the same results.”
“Part of developing the next generation is to teach them about entrepreneurship,” he said. “Teach them how to take ideas that come about as these kids notice gaps in society, or problems around them, and take these ideas and monetize them for financial profit or social profit, or both.”
The students are placed into four different categories: hospitality and tourism, healthcare, technology, and creative economies. Each of these categories are split into two teams that make their own business plans.
For example, a team in healthcare is working on a pill bottle sleeve that would monitor pill amounts, combatting Appalachia's drug epidemic.
“We feel that those are four categories that are very important to the state of West Virginia and our economic growth,” said Julia Bolt, Dean of GSE.
Bolt said that entrepreneurs need to focus on problems, not ideas.
On the first day “they did a scavenger hunt across WVU’s campus, where they had to determine problems on our campus and a business that could be created from that,” she said.
WVU will also be hosting the Governor’s School of Entrepreneurship next year
Douglas Soule The DA Online