CEO develops future CEOs in Washington, Kokomo

Small business owners make up 80 percent of all American businesses, and those business owners provide jobs and prosperity for our communities and the country. Entrepreneurs have changed the world, but young people in our high schools are not sufficiently exposed to entrepreneurial opportunities.

Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities, or CEO,  is a successful program that engages the local business community, connecting and encouraging them to share their expertise with the next generation of business owners to create a positive economic future. The Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship is now taking the program to other communities.

Begun with one class in Effingham, Ill., in 2008, CEO 2014 will work with 18 to 25 students in classes in Kokomo and Washington. There will also be nine classes in Illinois and four in Minnesota. Participants are juniors and seniors selected for the year-long program through a rigorous application process. Meeting every day for 90 minutes, students utilize area businesses as classrooms, visit dozens of area businesses and earn high school credit.  Some classes receive community college and college credit.

Students are immersed in real life learning experiences with the opportunity to take risks, manage the results and learn from the outcomes. The program encourages creative thinking and promotes a strong sense of self-worth and accountability. It helps create a community that students want to stay in or come back to and start businesses, work and raise families. It is an effective and cost efficient way to approach long-term economic development.

The Midland Institute offers comprehensive training, a CEO manual that provides a blueprint for success and a CEO instructor manual that provides essential insights. Classes are funded by local businesses who provide mentors for each student and guest speakers. Contact Midland for details, visit the CEO blog site and start building CEOs in your community!

The Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship

Craig Lindvahl


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Delores Jackson

Delores Jackson was Director of Corporate Learning for Oklahoma City Community College for eight years, consulting with business leaders to determine the training and develop needs of their employees, designing the programs, and managing a staff of professional trainers. ...

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