Minding Our Business Entrepreneurial Program for High School Students Receives Support from Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation

By Diane Blaszka
Lawrenceville, NJ n December 30, 2013 n Celebrating its first year as an independent 501(c)3 organization, local nonprofit Minding Our Business (MOB) recently received valuable financial support from the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Based at Rider University, MOB will apply the $10,000 grant toward its new High School Program for low-income Mercer County freshmen and sophomore high-school students who have a strong commitment to entrepreneurship and a college education.
Describing the program as a natural extension of MOB’s efforts to introduce urban, at-risk students to the thrills and benefits of entrepreneurship, MOB Executive Director Kevin Wortham states, “MOB has traditionally served at-risk middle school students. Our high school program will involve two-weeks of intensive, college-level training at Rider, for which students will earn 3 college credits; and a 10 month-long practice and business support component. Students will live at Rider for two weeks in August as they focus on skill development, market analysis, marketing strategy and business sustainability. Enrollment will be limited to 15 students, with priority given to promising alumni of MOB’s middle school programs. We are absolutely thrilled that the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce is supporting this effort!”
Minding Our Business began in 1997 as a community outreach program of Rider University’s College of Business Administration. Having trained and mentored more than 3,000 local middle school students in starting and running their own businesses, MOB now has four distinct educational and mentoring programs focused on experiential learning:
1) The Service Learning Program — a 12-week after-school program providing hands-on instruction to approximately 135 Trenton middle school students each spring regarding the process of starting and running a business.
2) The Summer Program — an intensive 2-week program providing 35 low-income middle school students with entrepreneurship training and mentoring at Rider University each summer.
3) The Advanced Program — a 10-month business coaching program for students needing additional business training and support to make their businesses sustainable year-round.
4) The High School Program — a new program for low-income Mercer County freshmen and sophomore high-school students who have a strong commitment to entrepreneurship as a vocational path and are interested in a college education.
In 2008 and 2009, MOB’s Summer Program was recognized by the National Summer Learning Association as one of the top summer programs in the country. In 2009, MOB was the National Winner of the Best of Best Practices Award in Entrepreneurship Education at the Small Business Institute National Conference in Florida. Its vision is to become the leading model for service learning and summer learning in entrepreneurship for urban youth at the middle school level nationally.
For further information about Minding Our Business, and/or to donate to support its efforts, please visit www.minding-our-business.com or call Executive Director Kevin Wortham at 609-731-9311.