EVART \u2013 Entrepreneurship is the driving force behind many successful businesses and organizations in America. Young aspiring entrepreneurs may have a great idea, but lack the know-how to make their dreams a reality. \u201cWith a laptop, cell phone and the Internet you have as many tools as a fortune 500 executive,\u201d said Al Weinberg, Evart Downtown Development Authority director. \u201cIt\u2019s just how you use them.\u201d Plans for an entrepreneurship training program for youth in Evart are underway, but organizers need the participation of parents and community members for the process to continue. Generation E is an organization that trains and motivates young entrepreneurs. A representative from the organization will educate community members about the program and answer questions Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Local Development Finance Authority offices in the Evart Air Industrial Park terminal located south of U.S. 10 on South Industrial Park Drive. \u201cWe can\u2019t wait for big companies to come in and give jobs, we have to create our own,\u201d said Melora Theunick, LDFA director. \u201cThis program would teach young people how to actually create their own job.\u201d The LDFA introduced the idea in the community in the spring by surveying 500 students at Evart Public Schools about their entrepreneurial interests. Fifty-two percent of students in 7th through 12th grade said they would like to take a class or participate in a club that teaches them how to write a business plan and start their own business. Weinberg has three children in Evart Public Schools and thinks Generation E would positively impact the community. \u201cSmall towns are a huge area for growth,\u201d Weinberg said. \u201cPeople who grew up here and love being here can have the opportunity to stay by developing great products and businesses.\u201d He thinks his children and other students he knows from the community with an \u201centrepreneurial spirit\u201d would participate in and benefit from Generation E. \u201cAnyone with entrepreneurial skills, training, and the right mindset can be as competitive as anyone anywhere,\u201d Weinberg said. \u201cI think Generation E will be a great club for students to invest in.\u201d If the program begins, it would start as a community club with the potential of translating into school curriculum in the future, Theunick said. Big Rapids Middle School and Crossroads Academy in Big Rapids both adopted the Generation E curriculum as an elective course offering last year. \u201cWe need to identify a couple of individuals who could be trained in the program,\u201d Theunick said. \u201cWe need somebody with a passion for this.\u201d Individuals interested in leading the group would attend a two-day training in Tustin. Trainees will go through the curricula and practice many of the hands-on activities, leaving fully equipped with activities, resources, assessments, and all the tools necessary to successfully deliver the entrepreneurship education program. The five-step process in bringing Generation E curriculum to Evart includes community appraisal, engagement, planning, training, and community assistance to sustain the program. Thursday\u2019s meeting will complete the community engagement step in the process. The program would be project-based and driven by students working towards a goal of instilling an entrepreneurial mindset in kids from an early age. Potential projects include developing business and financial plans to start small businesses as diverse as lawn mowing, product creation, community gardening, creating green and\/or recycled products, making greeting cards, calendars, selling pictures, open bicycle shop and much more. \u201cIn this area and the tough economic times, I really think we have to diversify,\u201d Theunick said. \u201cIf we can teach people skills, they can support themselves.\u201d Theunick, who owns her own seamstress business on the side, learned about Generation E a few years ago at a conference. As an entrepreneur, she sees the program as a potential great advantage to youth in Evart. \u201cIf somebody hadn\u2019t taken the time to each me to sew when I was 12, I wouldn\u2019t be able to have my business,\u201d Theunick said. Generation E\u2019s recognized that not every community will offer entrepreneurship education in their school, and community-wide approach to find the \u201cpockets of entrepreneurs\u201d within a community, according to the company\u2019s website. Entrepreneurship programming opportunities are sought through organizations such as libraries, after school programs, faith-based, home school, alternative education, at-risk youth summer camps, Chamber of Commerce, Boys and Girls Clubs, and many more. Assistance with funding resources, business leader mentoring, student loan resources, student recognition celebrations, internships and job shadowing are provided. \u201cWhether or not my kids grow up to be running their own business, entrepreneurial skills are great to have,\u201d Weinberg said. Interested parents and community members can help Generation E get started in Evart by going to the meeting Thursday. \u201cWe need people to show up to prove this is worthwhile, that we want to give our children these opportunities,\u201d Theunick said.