McCOOK, Neb. -- With the deadline less than three weeks away for the "new and improved" business Hormel Entrepreneurship Competition, contest organizers are encouraging business owners of all ages to solidify their business dreams by taking the first step to fill out the simple application form.
Hollywood may love the story of the college kid who starts a billion-dollar business out of his dorm room, that's only one story. For many, life as an entrepreneur begins much later.
For every Mark Zuckerberg, who started Face book when he was 19, there is a Charles Fling, who launched IBM when he was 61. Or wedding-dress designer Vera Wang who didn't start designing clothes until she was 39.
What the business community has learned is that when it comes to launching a business, what a person may lack in youthful energy comes back multiplied in experience. Sam Walton started Wal-Mart when he was 44; and Joseph Campbell started Campbell Soup when he was 52.
While previous winners of the Hormel competition trended toward younger startup McCook entrepreneurs, this year's competition is looking for a wider range of business interests including established businesses and those outside McCook.
The competition is open to residents in nine area counties who have a business idea or a business expansion plan. Counties include: Furnas, Gosper, Frontier, Hayes, Hitchcock, Perkins, Red Willow, Chase and Dundy.
Following the Dec. 1 deadline, a select number of finalists and alternates will be chosen to compete in the Spring Hormel Entrepreneurship Competition. Finalists will receive a scholarship to attend, for free, the on-line Entrepreneurship Business Plan writing class offered through Mid-Plains Community College during the 2015 spring semester. The scholarship covers tuition and fees (about $282). Successful completion of the course is mandatory for all finalists in order to receive cash prizes totaling about $25,000.
After completing the on-line Entrepreneurship Business Plan writing class, each finalist will have until March 23 to comprise their business plan and business presentation to present in front of a panel of judges.
This competition is a partnership with McCook Community College, the Ben Hormel family and numerous area business sponsors.
To apply or learn more, go to the webpage mpcc.edu and click on Hormel Entrepreneurship Competition where you can find the application and more details about the competition.
You can also call the McCook Center for Enterprise at 308-345-8122.