FORT PIERCE — Indian River State College (IRSC) has received a $100,000 Perkins grant from the Florida Department of Education’s Entrepreneurship Education and Training program to establish the IRSC Entrepreneurial Acceleration Revenue Network (E.A.R.N.). Project E.A.R.N. will utilize a three-pronged approach to help to cultivate entrepreneurial mindsets along the Treasure Coast. First, IRSC will recruit youth ages 16 to 18, traditionally underrepresented in entrepreneurship to participate in a Young Entrepreneurs’ Boot Camp. Next, IRSC will recruit teachers from partnering school districts to learn how to embed entrepreneurship education into their curriculum. Finally, IRSC will assist entrepreneurs from its four-county service region with establishing their business and developing long-term success strategies.
“IRSC aims to assist entrepreneurs and budding entrepreneurs in establishing and growing their businesses, so that they may become permanent contributors to the overall vitality, diversity and growth of Florida’s economy,” shared Dr. Prashanth Pilly, IRSC Dean of Business. “Additionally, through Project E.A.R.N. IRSC can leverage both its faculty expertise and network of business partners to provide training to local school districts to help advance entrepreneurial objectives within career and technical education (CTE) curriculum.”
The award will be used to support the following activities:
• Present a Young Entrepreneurs’ Boot Camp (March 15-26) — At IRSC’s Young Entrepreneurs’ Boot Camp students ages 16 to 18 will gain firsthand knowledge in leadership and creating a new business. Participants will explore careers, experience a simulated work environment and receive mentorship from industry leaders.
• Offer Advanced Entrepreneurship Certification — New and current IRSC students may now enhance their entrepreneurial mindset and expand their entrepreneurial capabilities through a new Advanced Entrepreneurship Certification. The program teaches the fundamentals of starting and operating a business venture while presenting entrepreneurship as a viable career option.
• Launch Related Workshops and Events—An E.A.R.N. Speaker Series, an E.A.R.N. Educators’ Training program, and an IRSC Entrepreneurs’ Pitch Fair will all occur in 2021.
The project is made possible by Florida’s Perkins V State Plan, which commits to creating a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem through career and technical education. Business equity is the second largest source of wealth behind home equity, and for special populations, self-employment and the ability to effectively create value contributes to Florida’s greater economic security. In short, becoming an entrepreneur is a viable path to improving Florida’s economic and social mobility rates.
Through Project E.A.R.N., IRSC intends to establish a pipeline of entrepreneurial-minded leaders. For more information, about Project E.A.R.N., contact Master Instructor, Nicholas Brown, at the IRSC School of Business, at email@example.com or 772-462-7659.