The Enterprise Leadership Conference (ELC) is a Rotary sponsored 3 day scholarship program for high school juniors. It is designed to provide an intensive introduction to the entrepreneurial opportunities in America. Students are challenged and inspired to consider the opportunities in starting and running their own business. The 2016 conference will be held on March 16-18 at Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove.
While sponsored by local Rotary Club(s), ELC welcomes the greater community network of non-profits who wish to participate.
If you were to summarize the ELC experience it would look pretty much like this:
Rotary Club volunteers visit high schools in the local area in the late fall. With the assistance of counselors and principals students are recruited personally via the application process. Applicants are then screened and selected from pre-set criteria. Students are very clear they are making a commitment to an intensive information conference and must obtain written parental consent and local HS approval.
There is a mandatory orientation meeting prior to the conference for both student and parent(s). There are two nights offered for the orientation, March 8th and March 10th. The student and parent or guardian must attend one of the orientation nights. They are briefed on the expectations and the rules. On the first day of the conference students are assigned to a team of three boys and three girls. The first and primary assignment for the team is to create a product or service that hasn’t been offered before.
When the team has made that decision they are then challenged to develop a business plan around their product or service. This includes building a budget, a finance plan, marketing/distribution plan, sales plan, Human Resource plan and if necessary a manufacturing plan. Over the following two days students are given direction through interactive sessions with entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley. They are challenged to meet their deadline and be ready to present their company on the final morning to the judges within a ten minute time frame.
The judges evaluate each team presentation on team member participation, understanding of their product or service, clarity of thought and cohesiveness of the overall product idea presentation.
The top three winning teams are selected to make live presentations to the Rotary Clubs or non-profits that sponsored them. This is usually done within ten days following the conference.