On May 12, Monroe County was introduced to over 200 young entrepreneurs during Monroe Public Schools’ first annual Young Entrepreneurs Showcase. An opportunity was provided to 100 new businesses to introduce their product or service to the general public for the first time. This came after a year long program entitled Generation E.
Generation E is a 501 (c)3 based in Battle Creek, Michigan. Their mission is to inspire and guide creative thinking so students are prepared to thrive in tomorrow’s economy. Their innovative programs feature action-based learning and give youth plenty of hands-on experiential learning through critical thinking exercises, problem solving activities, and research that encourage discussions and turn abstract principles into practical actions to create their own business ventures.
Generation E was introduced to Monroe Public Schools through the efforts of the Innovation and Entrepreneur Committee, a sub committee of the county’s Economic Development Task Force. “Our goal,” stated Tim Lake, BDC President, “was to first ask that MPS vet out the program and then assuming they felt it had merit train 4 teachers over the summer to operate the program in a couple of classrooms as a beta test.” The MPS Team, led by Superintendent Julie Everly, liked the program so well that they integrated it into all of their classrooms, trained 50 teachers in the Generation E methods, and provided the necessary materials to adequately run the operations.
Monroe Public Schools have indicated that they are more than willing to share their experiences with other districts that may want to start the program in their schools.
As the lead economic development team in the county of Monroe, we are grateful for the effort, time and resources provided by Monroe Public Schools and the especially the dedicated staff that used personal time to launch this program. New businesses are the live blood of any community. We can point to Monroe as having a rich heritage of entrepreneurship, with the likes of Monroe Auto Equipment (Tenneco, Inc.), La-Z-Boy Chair Company (La-Z-Boy, Inc.), FEDCO, and many others both large and small.