michael e parkerIt’s widely known that the USHCC is an incredibly influential and instrumental organization in the lives of entrepreneurs, particularly those who identify as Hispanic. Since 1979 the USHCC has built a reputation as a leader in the world that advocates and enables these businesses to thrive and heavily contribute to America’s economic growth and development. In addition to creating a platform for business owners, the USHCC also runs a program to encourage and cultivate entrepreneurship in young people. Bizfest Youth Entrepreneurship Program is a workshop for high school students that lasts for three days and enables these young people to take the next step in their professional development. Throughout the course of the event, the program equips students with the tools that they need in order to learn about and practice professional networking, entrepreneurship and leadership skills at this critical stage of development.

During the academic portion of the conference, participants not only learn foundational information about how to navigate the professional world through talks and workshops hosted by a variety of established professionals, but they also have the opportunity to design their own business plan during the practice-based aspect of the workshop. The business plans that these students develop subsequently undergo a review from a panel of judges who share initial impressions, and feedback of the student work.

Although the USHCC Foundation’s entrepreneurship program only lasts 3 days, this experience provides a meaningful steppingstone for those students who are seriously interested in pursuing a career rooted in entrepreneurship.

In addition to gaining these invaluable skills and experiences throughout the workshop, the students whom the judges name as the top three winners (based on their business plans) at the regional competition win Chromebooks and invitations to the USHCC Annual National Convention where they compete against other top students for college scholarships.

The USHCC Foundation ensures that finances will not prohibit winners from attending and sponsors the cost of travel, lodging and meals.  To learn more about the USHCC and my time spent there, please revisit this post, visit the USHCC, or see the video below for more details.