SOVA Youth Entrepreneurship Kickoff Event

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SOVA Youth Entrepreneurship Kickoff Event

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The SOVA Youth Entrepreneurship Kickoff Event was held virtually on Wednesday, May 5th, 2021. The free event was open to all 8th-12th graders in Southern Virginia.

Students were able to:

  – Explore ways to start their own business or social impact venture

  – Meet entrepreneurs

  – Give input on future events and camps

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3:30  Welcome: Introduction & Expectations (5 minutes)
Brandon Hennessey, Training Manager, Longwood SBDC

3:35  What is an entrepreneur? (15 minutes)
Ilsa Loeser, Founder, Letterpress Communications

3:50  Finding your path to entrepreneurship (10 minutes) 
Melanie Saunders, Entrepreneur and Educator, Halifax County High School

4:00  Industry Panel (30 minutes)
Moderated by Brandon Hennessey, Training Manager, Longwood SBDC
Panelists will include entrepreneurs and business executives from a variety of industries, including:  Agriculture & Forestry, Beauty & Fashion, Construction & Trades, Health & Wellness, Entertainment, Marketing & Influencing, Food & Restaurants, Products & Manufacturing, Science & Technology, and Outdoor Recreation

4:30  Breakout Rooms – Choose the industry you are most interested in (30 minutes)
Each student will enter the Zoom breakout room of the industry that they chose when registering for the event. Students will engage in an interactive discussion with the industry panelist. 

5:00   Debrief from Breakout Rooms (5 minutes) 
Moderated by Jacob Dolence, Faculty, Longwood University
Students will be invited to share a key takeaway from their breakout room discussions

5:05  Using Major Clarity to map your entrepreneurship path (10 minutes)
Dana Wilson, Major Clarity Program Manager, Institute for Advanced Learning & Research

5:15  Closing Comments and Input (15 minutes)
Moderated by Jacob Dolence, Faculty, Longwood University
Students will be invited to share feedback on the event and input on future events/programs

5:30  Event Ends[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row remove_padding=”no-padding-vc-row”][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Frequently Asked Questions

[/vc_column_text][vc_toggle title=”When is the event?”]This event is Wednesday, May 5, 2021 from 3:30-5:30pm. The event will be recorded if a student cannot attend the live event. If a student needs to come late or leave early, that is ok![/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”How will this event benefit my students?”]This event will help your students understand the entrepreneurial mindset and explore entrepreneurship as a possible career pathway.

The entrepreneurship mindset is all about problem-solving. As a mindset, it’s applicable to all professions/occupations, whether the student chooses to work for an employer or start their own business.

Students will be introduced to resources that can help them learn more about entrepreneurship, such as future camps and classes. Students will also have the opportunity to give input on how these future offerings are developed.

This event will also provide students with the opportunity to meet business owners in the region,  which could lead to internships and future employment.[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”What is the format of this event?”]This event will be hosted live on Google Meet. The event will be recorded so it can be viewed again later on. The live event will alternate between whole group and small group sessions, and will give students the opportunity to interact with speakers and each other for an engaging learning experience.[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Can students watch this event together?”]Yes! If you want to host a watch party, you could talk to talk to your school administration to see what spaces are available. For example, one school plans to host a watch party in their library.[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Who should attend this event?”]This event is geared toward ALL 8th-12th grade students who are exploring future career options. Just to give a few examples, the ideal participant might be a…

  • Computer science student interested in developing a mobile app
  • Cosmetology student interested in opening their own salon or creating their own beauty product
  • Culinary student interested in opening a single location restaurant or franchising
  • HVAC student interested in being a contractor
  • Auto mechanic student looking to start a local shop
  • Service oriented student looking to solve a community problem or launch a non-profit


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