By SARA GIBONEY
KEARNEY – More than 140 high school students experienced the hard work and excitement of becoming an entrepreneur at the New Venture Adventure hosted Oct. 10 at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
“It’s a true entrepreneurial experience for students,” said Shawn Kaskie, director of the Center for Rural Research and Development and advisor of the UNK Enactus Team that organized the event.
In its eighth year, New Venture Adventure helps high school and university students develop leadership and business skills. UNK students coach high school students to develop business proposals that are presented to area business leaders at the end of the daylong event.
Teams of students created a retail, service or manufacturing business and crafted a mission statement and business card for that new company.
Teams also identified financing requirements of the new venture and met with local finance professionals to obtain the funding needed. Students then worked with mock realtors to negotiate a lease for their operations.
The student groups presented their overall business concepts to a panel of judges comprised of area business professionals and UNK staff.
Miranda Kluthe, a senior business administration major at UNK from North Platte and president of Enactus, said the experience allows students to have hands-on learning.
“Classes don’t give hands-on experiential learning,” she said. “Enactus provides that before they head out into reality. This puts youth ahead of everyone else. It also gives potential leaders a time to shine.”
Participating schools were Ord, Hastings, Pleasanton, Sandhills, Shelton, Central City, Gothenburg, Callaway, Amherst, Kearney Catholic, Loomis, Kearney High, Litchfield and Sumner-Eddyville-Miller.
Team Charged Up was recognized as grand champion. Team members included: Mackenzie Clausen and Jacob Martenson, Amherst; Calli Hunter, Pleasanton; Naja Jensen, Central City; James Schuman, Gothenburg; Christa Lovitt, Kearney High School; Courtney Fox, Sandhills; Abby Plihal, Shelton; Chantz Klein, Sumner-Eddyville-Miller; Lindsey Siegel, Litchfield; and Cristian Perez, Hastings.
Teams Think Inside the Box and Lakeside Spa and Resort were named league winners.
Think inside the Box members included: Tanner Hircock, Amherst; Katelyn DeRiso, Ord; Carlie Smith, Litchfield; Brienna James, SEM; Taylor Gard, Shelton; Shelby Fox, Sandhills; Shannon Skinner, KHS; Chase Dachtler, Gothenburg; Maddie Paitz and Emily Day, Pleasanton; and Lane Gascoigne, Callaway.
Lakeside Spa and Resort members included: Andrea Hanson, Callaway; Addy Hand and Gabbie Day, Pleasanton; Cassidy Starostka, KCHS; Sarah Schnabel, Central City; Eric Pavlicek, KHS; Cody Beusing, Sandhills; Liz Ptacnik, Litchfield; Ian Kramer, Hastings; Tiarra Kruml, Ord; Jessica Eckhout, Amherst.
Founded in 1975 and active on more than 1,400 college and university campuses in 47 countries, Enactus is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with business and higher education to provide college students the opportunity to make a difference and to develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills through learning, practicing and teaching the principles of free enterprise. Enactus was formerly known as Students in Free