RANDOLPH CENTER, Vt. (Feb. 27, 2023) – On Feb. 9, 2023, more than 400 Vermont educators, government officials, business advisors, business leaders, and students gathered virtually for the 14th annual Vermont Student Entrepreneurship Day. The record-breaking number of attendees highlights the importance of entrepreneur education for today’s students and tomorrow’s workforce.
In the spirit of bringing forward-thinking Vermonters together to celebrate successful communication in the workforce, the theme of this year’s event was “Vermont Entrepreneurs – Tell Your Story.”
Greetings, proclamations, and remarks were provided by: Governor Phil Scott, Mike Vlacich, U.S. Small Business New England Administrator; Lindsay Kurrle, Secretary of Vermont’s Agency of Commerce and Community Development; and Carolyn Weir, Executive Director of the J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation, an affiliate of the Vermont Community Foundation.
Keynote and TedX speaker Tessa Rawson, founder of Resonance, presented a workshop about “Telling Your Story” to help students learn how to better articulate and share their knowledge, experience, and passions to open new opportunities for them now and in the future.
The exciting agenda offered an opportunity for all high school and technical school students statewide to showcase their work as well as a chance to hear from leading experts on their stories and experiences. Moderated by VtSBDC business advisor Sarah Kearns, a panel of successful young entrepreneurs shared their experiences: Jordan Rowell, trail builder and media producer; Lily Merchant, student intrapreneur, UVM Entrepreneurship Club and Skylar Bagdon, CEO Verde Technologies.
“As facilitators of this event for the past 14 years, we have seen how entrepreneur education can have a significant impact on shaping a generation,” said Linda Rossi, State Director of VtSBDC. “As we look forward to Vermont’s small business landscape and future workforce, we are mindful that entrepreneur education develops entrepreneurial skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, leadership, and communication, which are essential to starting and running a successful business. Other benefits include encouraging innovation and creativity, creating job opportunities, promoting social change, and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship in any business setting.”
“We are thrilled that more than 50 percent of Vermont’s high schools and career technical schools were represented this year. This event encourages students to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset, to explore the creative process and to be open to new ideas. We hope that these skills will help students as they continue their educational journey, enter the workforce, or start a business of their own,” said Laurel Butler, VtSBDC Specialty Advisor for Student/Educator Entrepreneurship.
Vermont Student Entrepreneurship Day was hosted by the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC); U.S. Small Business Administration – Vermont District Office; Vermont Career and Technical Student Organizations; and Vermont Business Education Corps. VtSBDC is hosted by Vermont Technical College. The event was funded in part by the J. Warren & Lois McClure Foundation, an affiliate of the Vermont Community Foundation, who has created a helpful resource Vermont’s Most Promising Jobs.
The planning and facilitating committee included: Linda Rossi (VtSBDC State Director); Laurel Butler (VtSBDC Specialty Advisor for Student/Educator Entrepreneurship); Darcy Carter (SBA VT District Director); Jacob Dubois (Uptown Cow); Sarah Kearns (VtSBDC Business Advisor of Addison County and Statewide Collegiate Advisor); Susan Ladd (Coordinator for VT Career & Technical Student Organizations); Phyllis Ershowsky (VtSBDC Marketing & Communications Specialist); and Jaden Kinney (VtSBDC Intern and Vermont Technical College student).
For more information, visit Vermont Small Business Development Center’s (VtSBDC) resources for entrepreneurship education.