FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Recognizing teenagers as potential job creators, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is investing in a new initiative intended to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit in high school students.
Gov. Steve Beshear unveiled the initiative on Wednesday at a Capitol press conference. The state kicked in $50,000 to help start the program, dubbed the Governor's School for Entrepreneurs.
Modeled after the long-running Governor's Scholars program for academically gifted students, the new initiative is intended to encourage innovation and creative thinking among high school students interested in starting small businesses.
"We think the program will do much to nurture a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship," Beshear said.
With Beshear to announce the program was Chris Mills, co-founder of Hitcents, an Internet marketing company in Bowling Green. Mills and his twin brother, Clinton Mills, started the business as high school sophomores. It now has 60 employees.
"As you can imagine, two 15-year-olds who stumbled on to something like this, we started having to figure out: 'What is a balance sheet, how do you get incorporated, how do you look at profit and loss, how do you pay employee taxes, what is social security?'" he said. "All these questions came to two 15-year-olds that got thrown into it."
Mills said they turned to the Small Business Administration for help, but a program like the Governor's School for Entrepreneurs would have been more useful.