Business Mentorship Program Free to Students in Milford

Students at the inaugural Business Mentor Program with guest speaker Mike Nally.

Students at Milford High School will be able to learn about small business ownership and entrepreneurship through a free, hands-on youth mentorship program. The Milford Business Mentoring Program offers students a unique opportunity to shadow local small business owners and participate in a speaker series developed for them.

The program is made available by Downtown Delaware, a program of the Delaware Economic Development Office, and Downtown Milford. It was offered for the first time this year, which graduated seven students in March 2011. Next year’s four-week program will begin in January 2012.
“The Milford Business Mentoring Program is a way for Main Street to cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit in students, and thereby encourage them to return to their home town after college, ready to take on the full challenges of entrepreneurship,” said Diane Laird, state coordinator for Downtown Delaware. “Milford has an active downtown business community. It’s a great place to start.”
The Milford Business Mentoring Program will welcome back all four business mentors who participated last year: Kevin Reading, owner of Abbott’s Grill; Cortez Vann, manager of The Georgia House Milford, LLC; Carmen Kemper, Business Manager of the Milford Skating Center; and Teri Carter, owner of EcoChic Boutique. In addition, the program will add two new business mentors: Bryan Shupe of Milford Live and Sherry Shaffer of Fur Baby Boutique.
“We hope that this program will introduce entrepreneurism as a viable, realistic possibility for students to pursue,” said Bryan Shupe, volunteer coordinator for the program. “Entrepreneurs have built the foundation of every small town in America and students should be introduced to its influence at an early age.”
Shupe will also be serving as a business mentor this year with Milford Live. He will visit Milford High School with Carly James, AmeriCorps VISTA and Downtown Delaware representative, on December 5 and 6 to speak to classes about the program. Applications will be made available at the front desk of the high school beginning December 5.
Any sophomore, junior, or senior Milford High School student is eligible for the program. Participation is free. All questions should be directed to Stephanie LoBiondo at 302-424-5486 ext. 1114 or via slobiond@msd.k12.de.us.
About the Delaware Economic Development Office
The Delaware Economic Development Office is an executive state agency responsible for attracting new investors and businesses to the state, promoting the expansion of existing industry, assisting small and minority-owned businesses, promoting and developing tourism and creating new and improved employment opportunities for all citizens of the State. Visit dedo.delaware.gov. Follow DEDO on Facebook or Twitter @DEDOgov.
About Downtown Milford
Downtown Milford Inc. is a non-profit organization that promotes quality development of the traditional central business district of Milford, Del. In 2008, DMI was recognized as Delaware’s eight Main Street program and received national Main Street accreditation in 2009 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
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