Individuals thinking about starting up or expanding a business in Keith County have an opportunity to win money that could help put their plan into action.
The Mid-Plains Community College Ogallala Campus is joining forces with Keith County Area Development to offer the KC Launch Business Competition. The contest is modeled after similar competitions MPCC has offered in McCook and Valentine.
The goal is to stimulate entrepreneurship and support business expansion in Keith County. Individuals can begin submitting applications Nov. 1.
"We're excited to see the great, creative business ideas people have and look forward to welcoming a new business or seeing an expansion of an existing business through this program," said Mary Wilson, Keith County Area Development executive director.
A $5,000 cash prize and approximately $3,000 in in-kind donations will be awarded. Prize winnings must be used to establish or continue operations that employ people in Keith County.
As part of the competition, finalists are required to complete a three-credit hour Entrepreneurship Business Plan writing course offered by MPCC. Tuition and fees for the class, a value of approximately $330, will be paid for through the contest.
"While there will be one winner, all finalists who participate in the online class will benefit by having completed a business plan," said Mary Pierce, MPCC Ogallala Campus administrator.
Plans may be submitted by individuals or teams, but all applicants must be at least 18. Only businesses that have been in existence for five years or less may enter.
Applications will be accepted until Dec. 2. Finalists are required to attend an orientation Dec. 11, and an advisory night with local professionals and mentors Feb. 12. Final presentations before judges, which will be open to the public, are scheduled for April 22.
Applications are available at: mpcc.edu/community/kclaunch.