Idea Creation Workshop nurtures the young entrepreneurial spirit

Feather Publishing

  “Entrepreneurship is about making a living doing what you love; it’s about living life with passion and creating jobs for yourself and others. Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, but the skills that make people successful entrepreneurs are the same skills that will help you succeed in whatever you choose to do in life.”

  This was the message shared with almost 100 high school seniors from Chester, Greenville, Quincy and Portola at the Idea Creation Workshop at the Town Hall Theatre in Quincy on Tuesday, Nov. 13.

  Presented by E.J. Carrion, an extremely successful young entrepreneur and best-selling author who has spoken to tens of thousands of students in more than 20 states, the workshop was designed to help Plumas County students identify a meaningful business idea to develop for their Business and Finance class.

  Business and Finance, or Biz-Fiz as many students call it, is a Plumas Unified School District graduation requirement. The course is typically taken in 12th grade and contains several sections including personal finance, career portfolio, senior project and entrepreneurship (eship).

  The goals of the eship unit are to help students understand the relevance of entrepreneurship and the economy, and the importance of their own education. It also develops critical thinking and opportunity recognition skills, as well helping students appreciate and understand entrepreneurs/employers in order to improve their own workplace skills.  

  Feather River College has leveraged grant funds over the past five years to assist in building this career pathway and the Business and Entrepreneurship Center at FRC sponsored the interactive workshop where students brainstormed and shared ideas ranging from local bakeries to regional social media businesses to global energy solutions.

  According to Laurie Wann, program coordination for the BEC at FRC, “Students seemed to be very engaged and excited about the possibility of making money following their passions and interests. Of course we don’t expect every student to become an entrepreneur, but we do recognize that these students are the future, and that if they want to stay in the area, they may have to create their own jobs.”

  “We want our students to be inspired and self-motivated, and encourage outside-the-box thinking,” Wann continued. “I think the students heard E.J.’s message about the need to be flexible and persistent in order to achieve their vision and achieve self-sufficiency.”

  Students left the session full of ideas to begin developing into business plans over the next several weeks. Each of the four high schools will have a business plan competition in January.

  The students who are really serious about starting a business will get a chance to receive additional business counseling from the BEC at FRC to take their plan to the county competition March 22, 2012, for a chance to win $500. The winner of the county competition will be entered into the first California statewide business plan competition — called BOOST — for a chance to win $5,000 in seed money to launch their business.

  There are three age brackets in the BOOST competition: 14 – 17, 18 – 27 and 28-plus. For more information on how to enter, call Amy Schulz at the BEC at FRC: 283-0202, ext. 357; email; or visit

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