MarketPlace Has Special Youth Entrepreneurship Focus - One Hundred Plus Students Registered to Attend

Release Date: 



Elisha Smith,, Phone: (402) 922-1409
Lyons, NE - MarketPlace, the Center for Rural Affairs' small business and entrepreneurial conference, will have a special focus towards youth entrepreneurship. The event will take place this Wednesday, February 25, 2009 in North Platte, NE at the Sandhills Convention Center.
Along with the many financial, marketing, development, policy, agriculture and technology sessions, this year's MarketPlace event will have several Youth sessions specially designed for high school students and young adults.

As of last week several hundred students and teachers had registered to attend MarketPlace.

The day kicks off with 24 year old CEO and founder of JM Web Designs, Jonathan Patton, as the opening keynote speaker. Young Patton started his business at the age of 14, working individually out of his bedroom, and has grown it into a thriving business with over 15 employees and an international clientele.

"Our goal is to help young individuals realize that viable options exist to return to their communities through small business development, including farming and ranching, said Kathie Starkweather, Center for Rural Affairs.

The first youth directed session,"ESI: Entrepreneurship Investigation Workshop", will teach concepts of entrepreneurship through hands on Investigation. Participants will experience a variety of tools designed to help develop their entrepreneurial skills. They will also learn that they can pursue their entrepreneurial dreams without having to move to a big city.

A session lead by students from an Arthur County High School Business Class will demonstrate how to find new uses for old products.  Participants will be asked to get creative and think of new uses for old things.

Neal Ely, owner of Ely Farms will talk about the pros and cons of business success and what is important to the survival of rural Nebraska. Mr. Ely started Ely Farms Pickled Asparagus as an FFA project. His product is sold locally, in gourmet shops and specialty grocery stores, and over the Internet.

Registration includes a meal featuring Nebraska-raised meat, tomatoes and cucumbers, plus refreshments; a binder of proceedings, and a tremendous number of resources and expertise in one location. (A fish entree will also be available.)

For more information on MarketPlace and a full look at this year's program or to register: . Or contact Joy Marshall,, (402) 614- 5558.

The Center for Rural Affairs is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Get The Newsletter?