Local Businesses Mentor Milford Students

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The Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) has partnered with local downtown Milford business owners to offer students a unique opportunity.  Seven students from the Milford Senior High School will be given the chance to learn entrepreneurism firsthand from four local businesses. EcoChic, Abbott’s Grill, Georgia House and the Skating Rink will be mentoring these students as they learn business etiquette, budgeting, managing and day-today operations.  The program is one step that DEDO is taking to encourage young Delawareans to explore entrepreneurism and business ownership.

“This program is designed to help cultivate entrepreneurism at a young age.  DEDO choose Milford because of the great business classes at the high school and the downtown that is full of merchants who like to give back to the community,” stated Janice Neiman, Volunteer Development & Outreach Specialist for DEDO.

The students have attended business seminars where business men and women have shared their experiences and lessons about starting a business. On Thursday, February  24 they met with T. Michael Nally at the firm of Davis, Bowen & Friedel  to hear his advice on inspiring to be an entrepreneur. Mike is a former Army Ranger with 20-plus years of experience in all major aspects of business development. He is currently owner of Lead Your Way Solutions, a leadership development program that enables people and organizations to reach their full potential and reach transformational goals.

Mike spoke to the students about identifying market trends, adaptability, self-knowledge and resourcefulness. He encouraged them to find what it is that they have a passion for and look for ways to create opportunities to enhance that passion.

“The thrill of being an entrepreneur is not making money but in creating solutions to problems.  Great entrepreneurs look for solutions in an area where they are passionate,” commented Mike.

He also talked about how business has changed over the past few decades and the paradigm shift in how companies are run.  “The model of large companies who hire employees for 30-40 years is decreasing and the younger generations will have multiple career changes in the first 10 years of their working life,” stated Mr. Nally.  For this reason Mike emphasized to the students the importance of creating a personal brand that reflects their work and personal ethics. 

The Milford Mentoring Business Program will continue through the month of April and students will graduate in early May.  The participating students are Ian Passwaters, Trevor Mullane, Olivia Jester, Zach Huk, Neil Shah, Chantay Harmon and AJ Ibarola. The students will be working with their business mentors weekly and will receive credit for the work that they do.  To find out more about the program visit their blog at http://mbmp2011.blogspot.com.