FRANKFORT, Ky. – Undaunted by the global pandemic, four alumni of the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs (GSE) launched small businesses throughout Kentucky last year. Recognizing the need and seeing the opportunity, these innovators took risks and solved problems.
Their businesses are building a better Kentucky economy and helping reverse a trend that’s seen the number of new companies in the U.S. dropped 44% since 1978. While entrepreneurs ages 20-34 have declined from 34% in 1997 to 25% currently, according to the Kauffman Foundation and the Brookings Institution, GSE is committed to reversing these trends in Kentucky. And it’s working.
Anneli White, a 2019 GSE alum from Martha Layne Collins High School in Shelby County, launched Anneli White Designs last year. Anneli knew that even amid the pandemic, the time was right to chase her dream of selling custom-designed notecards, stickers, apparel, and more.
Riley Mayberry, a 2020 GSE alum from Louisville Collegiate School in Jefferson County, brought a long-time vision to fruition with the launch of Riley’s Pantry – Snacks for Diabetics, a monthly subscription service that curates snacks for Type 1 diabetics.
In Kenton County, Paige Neuhaus founded Prints by Paige, a business focused on crafting custom gifts.
Cam Lasley, a 2017 GSE alum from LaRue County High School, recognized a need in his rural county: access to high-speed, affordable internet service. He founded Telecast Communications.
Since 2013, the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs has served entrepreneurially minded teens throughout Kentucky. While all participants gain vital entrepreneurial skills through the program to use as they enter the workplace or continue into higher education, 15-plus new businesses have already been launched by GSE alumni.
Others have filed for patents and developed new ideas and relationships that sow the seeds for more business formation. Dozens of alumni have chosen to enroll in entrepreneurial programs at Kentucky universities and attribute this decision to the inspiration they received by attending GSE in high school.
Parents, educators, entrepreneurs, and teens who believe grit, a growth mindset, and creativity in problem-solving tell as much about a young person as good grades and test scores, can learn more about the Governor’s School of Entrepreneurs at www.KentuckyGSE.com.