Milford Mentoring Business Program a Success

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The Milford Mentoring Business Program held its spring 2011 recognition event on Thursday, April 14 at the Georgia House in downtown Milford. Program participants included students Chantay Harmon, Zach Huk, Aj Ibarola, Olivia Jester, Trevor Mullane, Ian Passwaters and Neil Shah.  Mentors of the program included Teri Carter, Carmen Kemper, Kevin Reading and Cortez Vann. 

Diane Laird, State Coordinator for Downtown Delaware, a program of the Delaware Economic Development Office welcomed the students and mentors to the first ever Milford Business Mentoring Program (MBMP) recognition event. The MBMP is a new initiative to Delaware established to connect aspiring high school entrepreneurs with small business owners in downtown Milford.  Conceived by Janice Neiman, an Americorp VISTA with the Delaware Development Office, the program was created to support the entrepreneurial environment that the State of Delaware is building by engaging young students during the years where they begin to choose their career paths.

“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 a downtown that is full of merchants who give back to the community,” stated Janice Neiman, Volunteer Development & Outreach Specialist for DEDO.

Ken Anderson, Director of the DEDO’s Entrepreneurial and Small Business Support Unit, was the guest speaker for the evening.  He is responsible for building the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the State of Delaware by attracting, creating and expanding small business opportunities. Ken also manages the State of Delaware’s Emerging Technology Center, hosts the DE ETC Boot Camp and Business Plan Competition and was a guest speaker throughout the Milford Business Mentoring Program. 

Students of the 2011 MBMP program, that was launched in spring, spent hours in the conference room of Davis, Bowen & Friedel engaging in discussion with business professionals who have experience in the world of entrepreneurism. On such professional was T. Michael Nally at the firm of Davis, Bowen & Friedel who 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.

Students received a framed certificate for their accomplishments but more importantly a greater sense of what being an entrepreneur truly means.  The Milford Mentoring Program will continue next fall under the direction of the Delaware Economic Development Office.  Any students or business wanting to participate are encouraged to contact Janice Neiman at 302-672-6836 or Janice.neiman@state.de.us.

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