Students are discovering the excitement of owning their own business at Club Biz, a five-day youth entrepreneurship course being held at the Sustainable Business Center this week. Five students from 7-12 grades are learning how to run a business, meeting entrepreneurs throughout the region, and putting their own innovative ideas on paper. The course is collaboration between the University of Illinois Extension – Knox County, the Entrepreneurship Center of West Central Illinois, City of Galesburg, and Knox County 4-H.
“This week provides students with not only a foundational knowledge of entrepreneurship, but also skills such as creativity, marketing, etc. Although not every student will start a business in the real world, all will benefit in some way from the content in this course,” said Carrie McKillip, Unit Educator for the University of Illinois Extension, Henderson, Knox, McDonough and Warren Counties.
“The kids were astounded when local inventor Michael Acerra, printed a proto-type of a small, three-dimensional, plastic figurine,” said Ryan Lilly, manager of the Entrepreneurship Center of West Central Illinois. “Exposing them to this cutting-edge technology has certainly sparked their imagination. Perhaps it will ignite a renewed interest in math, science, and engineering as well.”
Other featured entrepreneurs presenting at Club Biz include Paul Schuytema (past founder of a video game company), Dr. Rita Wilcox (a local chiropractor), Jenna Muzzio (a coordinator with local foods entrepreneurs), and Helen Schnoes (a marketing manager for Sitka Salmon Shares).
On Friday, June 21 from 1:30-3:00pm the students will be presenting their business plans at the Sustainable Business Center. While not open to the public, the media is invited to attend.
For more information about Club Biz and the Entrepreneurship Center of West Central Illinois, please contact Ryan Lilly at 309-371-0473 or