Annual Entrepreneurship Day Approaches, Several Students to Attend


Students listen to a speaker at last year’s Entrepreneurship Day sponsored by Northern Illinois University and the Coleman Foundation. This year’s speakers cover a wide-range of professions.

District 211 students will have the opportunity to join other students from District 214 and Barrington High School to learn about running and starting a business from experienced and successful entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurship Day is sponsored by Northern Illinois University’s School of Business and the Coleman Foundation, and is on Nov. 16 at the NIU campus in Hoffman Estates. Students will listen to success stories and advice from individuals who have gone through the process of building a business. Several other organizations also contribute to the event each year.

“Students get to see what’s involved with being an entrepreneur and they get to hear about the trials and tribulations in starting your own business,” said Otis Price, District 211’s director of Athletics, Activities and Career Development. “It’s also important because if a student has an idea or something they want to do, he or she can see that it’s possible. This has been a great partnership with NIU.”

The idea to start an entrepreneurship day originated in District 214 before District 211 started its entrepreneurship class, which is currently offered at three high schools in the District. Now, students who have an interest in becoming an entrepreneur and students in classes are able to attend event sessions. Roughly 250 students collectively attend the event.

There are several different types of businesses that are highlighted each year. Owners of restaurants, specialty clothing stores, photography companies, skateboarding shops, and more have been featured throughout the years. This year, students will hear from the following speakers: Keynote speaker Denise Maple of Vavavroom; Patrick Tannous of Tiesta Tea; Dan Nicholson of Position Tech; Jim and Ric Clifton of The Locker Shop; Amanda Burdick of La’Di Events; Gregg Majewski of Jersey’s Pizza and Grill; Robert Gereowitz, OD, of Eyesright Optometry; Dave Esau of Dave’s Specialty Foods; and Jim Streich of The Drum Pad.

Price said this is an important event because it shows students that ideas can turn into lucrative, successful, and highly-enjoyable careers. He added that because District 211 students can now earn dual-credit by examinations through NIU, which means students who pass an examination after completing the course receive credit through NIU.

“Entrepreneurship is a huge political issue right now and there is a lot of talk about how small businesses are such an important part of the recovery of our economy, and this gives kids ideas for how to turn a hobby or talent in a business that can be a livelihood,” Price said. “This is something that is important, and we want to keep encouraging our kids to dream big.”

For more information about Entrepreneurship Day, please visit the website here.