the Impact of the Coaches Institute?
date, 55 Fellows (participants) have graduated from the Coaches
Institute in North East Kentucky. Another 29 are currently
involved in the 16-month training program in South Central Kentucky.
Accomplishments include the following:
In a region marked by county boundaries, a new
regional identity among those trained. Six ran for political
office on pro-entrepreneurship platforms. Alumni have met
every six months as a group since 2005 and keep journals about their
time commitment for entrepreneurial initiatives.
to a final evaluation report made by external evaluators (Feb. 2007):
- 55 Fellows graduated from the institute in 2005 and
Fellows made 1516 contacts with entrepreneurs and
Fellows made 131 formal presentations to community
Fellows coached 161 aspiring entrepreneurs;
According to an alumni survey conducted in the
summer of 2008, the following impacts
were identified due to volunteer coaching efforts in 2006 and
- 94 new businesses have started;
- 57 businesses have expanded;
- 131 new jobs have been created;
$3 million in new grants have been stimulated by
- alumni have spearheaded visioning/strategic
- a new chamber of commerce has started;
- youth entrepreneurship programs and a leadership
program have been developed.
Mini-grant initiatives have focused on areas such as
sustainable agricultural practices, eco-agricultural tourism,
development and implementation of a regional entrepreneurship
center. Multiple ventures have been created because of these
mini-grant projects. We
anticipate more accomplishments from the current class of Fellows
when they graduate in October 2009.
Fellows Impact Entrepreneurial Culture?
in the Institute impact their region in many ways. They serve
as leaders, coaches and more importantly as social entrepreneurs who
collaborate on mini-grant projects that address entrepreneurship
within the region. Throughout their time in the Institute the
Fellows are asked to develop mini-grant projects that work to impact
entrepreneurship throughout the region. Mini-grant projects
are inspired by E-Community Tours, tools and lessons learned
throughout the seminars, and an inventory of assets present within
the region. The Fellows work to build upon their collective
strengths to develop initiatives that foster entrepreneurship in the
Fellows meet with entrepreneur Roy Farren, CEC at
Elyria Gardens in Elyria, NE.
Fellows meet with entrepreneur Roy Farren, CEC at
Elyria Gardens in Elyria, NE.
Fellows visit with entrepreneurs at High Plains
Homestead in Northwest Nebraska. High Plains
Homestead is located 20 miles off of the main road
and has found its niche in the tourism industry.
Are Some Examples of Previous Mini-Grant Projects?
1. New Opportunities on the Farm (Gwenda
Adkins, Lynn Baker, Kay Boggs, Teresa Brown, Don Davis, Paula Franke,
team organized a mini-conference emphasizing alternative crops and
agritourism. The goal was to educate local farmers, landowners,
elected and appointed officials about the opportunities with
alternative crops and agri-tourism related businesses.
An Innovation Center for the Region (Melony
Furby, Craig Miller, Annette Walters)
team worked to gain support for creating an Innovation Center in a
six county region (Bracken, Fleming, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas and
Robertson counties) to be housed at Maysville Community and
Technical College. This Center would be the starting point for
entrepreneurs in the region to gain access information and
assistance for their business ventures.
Unbridled Business (Johnathan Gay, Larrey Riddle, Kristel Smith,
Rebecca Smith, Rebecca Webb)
goal of this team was to create a public relations campaign to
increase awareness and knowledge of entrepreneurship within the
region. The vehicle they
chose to facilitate this campaign was the creation of a website –
www.unbridledbusiness.com. This user-friendly website offers easy to
understand information for entrepreneurs and directs them to the
resources that can help them, including the KECI fellows in the
entire 19-county region.
Harrison-Nicholas County School-Based Enterprise Project (Alyson
Arthur, Avi Bear, Bob Bedford, Alex Kazunas)
goal of this project was to create a web-based, student run school
store and to facilitate the sales and marketing of student-produced
products and services. The
store was established at Harrison County ATC, in partnership with
the teachers and staff at the school.
5. Wood Shims Contest (Mike Jackson, Gail
Lincoln, Sue Nickell)
goal of this project was to discover products made from wood shims
that could be commercialized, becoming the basis for either
home-based or mass
production enterprises in the region. To achieve this goal, the team
organized a Wood Shims Contest to identify potential products.
Youth Entrepreneurial Program (Jim
Cooksey, Becky Fogle, Keith Herrin, Kim Strohmeyer, Tony Watkins)
goal of this project was to establish at least one high school Youth
Entrepreneurial Program (YEP) in each of the four counties served by
the fellows on the
team. The idea was to train teachers in web design and they, in
turn, would train students in web design and the basics of starting
Kentucky Youth Challenge 2007 (John Hodge, David Kramer, Ralph
goal of this project was to establish the Kentucky Youth Challenge
contest to bring awareness of entrepreneurial opportunities to the
youth in Kentucky,
especially the Highlands area of Eastern Kentucky (the focus area
for KECI). The intent was to have students (20 years old and
younger) form teams to develop ideas for new products or services.
Innovative Farmer Award Program 2006 (Terri Cline, Sarah Fanin-Holliday,
Linda Hieneman, Barbara Howard, Dail Howard, Dennis Perry)
goal of this project was to increase public awareness of successful
agri-entrepreneurs in Elliott, Greenup, Morgan and Rowan counties in
Kentucky. “The purpose of the 2006 Innovative Farmer Awards Program
is to identify and recognize farmers who demonstrate the spirit of
cultivating new farmer-to-farmer relationships” (Program Brochure).
3. The Nor-Easter: Taking the Region by
Storm (Larry Brown, Charlotte Dixon, Toni Eddleman, Pati Porter,
Karen Towles, Jennifer Vaden)
goal of this project was to stimulate interest in entrepreneurship
and promote an entrepreneurial culture by developing a regional
newspaper page and
holding a writing/photography contest for youth.
ArtsLink Mini-Grant (Robert Barker, Russ Conrad, Janet Pelfrey)
goal of this project was to increase support for artisans and
organizations serving local artisans by developing a flexible grants
process based on the unique needs
of each artisan. They developed a seminar to help artisans and
artists develop and understand their businesses.
Students Teaming for Entrepreneurial Progress – STEP (Eric Fagan,
Jeremy Faulkner, Kathy Junker)
original goal for this project was to bring entrepreneurial
education to high school students by teaching an entrepreneurship
class in the high schools.
However, the team discovered that their program was unrealistic
given the constraints within the schools. Given their interest in
promoting youth entrepreneurship and the connections team members
have with particular youth organizations, such as 4H, these team
members decided to support the Kentucky Youth Challenge 2007 with
their time and mini-grant financial support.
Free Range Egg Mini-Grant Project (Scotty
Mitchell, Billy Webb)
goal of this project was to develop entrepreneurs who would produce
and sell free range eggs in the region. The plan was to provide the
producers with the inputs they needed, including know-how and hens,
to develop operations.
Targeting High School Youth (Kim Adams-Leger, Dorothy Altman, Gayle
Todd, Larry Willis)
goal of this project was to establish a link between entrepreneurial
organizations and resources in the region and high school youth. The
plan was to create a partnership between area high schools, the
mini-grant groups and other organizations such as Extension,
Bluegrass Energy, and Community Ventures.
Kentucky Entrepreneur Advocacy Alliance (Sharon Burton,
Sarah Neil Cook, David Dinwiddie, Vivian Gentry, and Tracey
Entrepreneur Resource Centers (Kaye Bowman, Denise Brooks,
Virginia Davis, Barkley Hancock, Melissa Knight, Bill Lytle,
Claire McGowan, Karisa Peterson, Micah Terry) The goal of
this project is to develop entrepreneurial resource centers
throughout seven counties in South Central Kentucky that are
promoted through a detailed marketing campaign. Each
Entrepreneur Resource Center will include: books identified
as the best resources for entrepreneurs (see list at end of
document), business cards of the local KECI coaches, a
printed list of local resources and their contact
information, printed applications for any local licenses
required, and rack cards designed by our team about the
3. Young Entrepreneurs in Action
(Hal Goode, Pat Rose, Todd Hoskins, Greg Karsner, Chris Hamilton,
Bud Blair, Anita Skaggs, Jim Hatchett, Ann Beard)
goal of this project is to work with young people in grade 6-12 in
Casey, Marion, Taylor, and Washington counties. We plan to
introduce them to the concept of entrepreneurship, the work and
risks involved, and help them to decide whether they want to pursue
a career in their own entrepreneurial business. We plan to
implement our approach through existing school programs like DECA,
YES, and FBLA.
Entrepreneurship Investigation (Danny Adams, Gary Carroll,
Thomas Dodson, Bonnie Kilby, and Shannon Hutchinson)
KY Class I.
with Scottish Parliament
meet during a seminar.
visiting with an entrepreneur at the Beehive
Restaurant in Augusta, Ky.
KECI NE KY Class II
explore rural entrepreneurship throughout Scotland.
take part in a seminar.
meet with resource providers throughout the region.
Team #4 Frankfort Trip March 2010
Team #4 Fish Fry July 2010