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State chamber group seeks students' innovative business ideas

| October 13, 2021 12:00 AM

The Montana Chamber Foundation launched its second year of "The Prospects" and is calling on all of Montana’s 40,000 high school students to submit their most innovative business ideas for a chance to win big.

"The Prospects" is a virtual statewide entrepreneurship competition for high school students with new business ideas and existing small businesses.

This collaborative initiative invests in Montana’s students while developing a mentorship platform to connect with business and community leaders.

This year’s competition features two rounds - fall 2021 and spring 2022. Expanding the competition into two rounds gives educators and students even more opportunities to get involved.

Judging for both rounds will start in March 2022 after the second round is complete.

Jenna Nate, a high schooler from Twin Bridges and the 2021 winner of the New Business Idea category, encourages all students who might be interested in participating by saying, “I’m so grateful for this experience and this competition! I would highly recommend (The Prospects) to anyone who gets the chance to compete.”

The Montana Chamber Foundation spearheads this project in partnership with Youth Entrepreneurs, a nationally recognized business education program with students and educators all over Montana.

This year’s prize purse is funded by generous donations from businesses like Stockman Bank, the Montana Auto Dealers Association, Great Falls Chamber of Commerce, and Envision 2026 investors.

Through the Montana Chamber’s ten-year strategic plan, Envision 2026, we continue to invest in programmatic efforts, like "The Prospects," aimed at Montana’s youth to grow and strengthen the state’s workforce- supercharging our economic future.

“Business leaders and employers across Montana are supporting this program because it teaches the economic and entrepreneurial principles that our students need,” says Matthew Olson, Director of Network Development for the Montana Chamber. “This competition provides an opportunity to directly connect mentors with youth entrepreneurs. There were so many innovative ideas last year, and we expect more of the same this year.”

The Montana Chamber Foundation is recruiting judges and mentors for this year’s competition and encourages anyone in the business community to get involved.

To learn more about "The Prospects" and how you can get involved, visit the Montana Chamber’s website at www.montanachamber.com/Prospects or contact Tiana Yates, the Montana Youth Entrepreneurs Coordinator at tiana@motanachamber.com.