DCEDC Awards Grants to Local High School Entrepreneurs

Billy Appel and Emmet Jacobs of Gibraltar High School and Greg Grohman from Sturgeon Bay High School were announced yesterday as the winners of seed capital grants for the best business plans coming out of Entrepreneurship courses supported by the Door County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) this year. The announcement came during the DCEDC annual investors meeting at Stone Harbor Resort & Conference Center in Sturgeon Bay.

DCEDC enthusiastically supported the Entrepreneurship courses taught by Michelle Gibson (Sturgeon Bay) and Mary Witteborg (Gibraltar), and congratulates our local high schools for stepping up to introduce local youth to the tremendous opportunities and challenges that come with starting a new business venture.

Appel and Jacobs are the founders of BEDZ Lawn Care, focused on serving the northern Door County area (bedzlawncare@yahoo.com). Grohman is starting Doggy Dung Gone, a pet waste removal service in the Sturgeon Bay area (greggrohman07@yahoo.com). Businessman John (Jay) Blossom II pledged the seed capital prizes to the best business plan from each class, to encourage the students to actually launch their proposed businesses.

During their courses, the students’ primary assignment was to develop a business idea, select a business name, logo and slogan, and create a real plan for that business. DCEDC Economic Development Manager Sam Perlman made classroom presentations in both schools on the importance of entrepreneurship to the local economy. DCEDC also invited both classes to tour the Door County Business Development Center, the small business incubator operated and managed by DCEDC. Students got to see how entrepreneurs get started and visited with several tenant businesses.

Jeffrey Hirsch, a student at Sturgeon Bay High School, was the winner in 2008 of a cash prize for the best business plan coming out of the Entrepreneurship course “adopted” by DCEDC last year. Jeffrey used the funds to start his own small company, Superior Lawn Service (SuperiorLawnService@gmail.com) and said the money not only helped to start his business but also “opened up a whole new door to my future.”

For more information or to volunteer to assist with the high school entrepreneurship initiative, please contact Sam Perlman at 920-743-3113 x204 or sam@doorcountybusiness.com.

About Door County Economic Development Corporation:

The Door County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) is a public/private partnership dedicated to improving the economic vitality of the county and its residents. Celebrating 20 years of service to the community throughout 2009, DCEDC has been successful in helping existing businesses create and retain thousands of jobs through a myriad of programs and initiatives. Additionally, DCEDC places strong emphasis on fostering entrepreneurial instincts in county residents as well as those who vacation on the Door County Peninsula. Door County Economic Development Corporation offices are located within the small business incubator DCEDC founded in 1997 at 185 East Walnut Street in the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park.

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