High schoolers practice real-world business ownership tactics

The Northwest Missouri State University Small Business and Technology Development Center held its eighth annual Youth Entrepreneurship Summit yesterday (Wednesday) at the M. W. Jenkins Expo Center, north of Chillicothe.
Matt Trussell, director of the SBTDC, said the event was split into two sessions, each of which allowed area high school students the opportunity to meet with local business owners and entrepreneurs.
"For the first session, we bring in six entrepreneurs or business owners that discuss a little bit about why they started the business, what their business is about and what they would like to change," Trussell explained. "If these students want to start a business someday, they'll have that opportunity to visit with somebody who has done it themselves. For the second session, we bring in businesses and they present a problem that they might be having. That might be a 30-second radio spot, introducing a new product or evaluations of a new product. It gives the students an opportunity to evaluate and help out those businesses. It's really a win-win situation for both the businesses and the students."
Cameron High School Seniors Krystal Brier and Morgan Murphy said the event was beneficial for both of them, as it expanded on what they had learned in their entrepreneurship classes.
"I think we learned a lot more about what it takes to start and be in charge of a business," Brier said.
Both Brier and Murphy met with Crystal Narr, general manager of the Chillicothe Comfort Inn, to discuss what could be done to entice more guests in the slow winter months.
"We were thinking they could host some winter events there and advertise it around Chillicothe. Really get the community involved," Murphy explained.
Schools participating in this year's summit included Brookfield R-3, Cameron R-1 and Trenton R-9. First session business entrepreneurs included Sierra McGown from State Beauty Supply, Scott Ellis from Allstate, Al Schweikert from The Yogurt Stop, Jennifer Darnell from Madison Avenue, Kara Rounkles from Chillicothe Iron and Steel and Jim Bonderer from Edward Jones. Second session businesses that presented problems for the students included The Yogurt Stop, North Missouri Center for Youth and Families, Citizen's Bank and Trust, Main Street Chillicothe, Woody's Auto Group, The Bootery, Lauhoff Jewelry, Chuck's Pest Control, Investors National Bank, Comfort Inn and Suites and Sydenstricker's.