Club Biz Empowers Youth Towards Entrepreneurship

Club Biz, a program designed to educate local youth in the area of entrepreneurship, has been introduced to several students in the Galesburg area. The program was made possible through a collaboration between the University of Illinois Extension, Knox County 4-H, the Sustainable Business Center and the EBI Network. Students from Galesburg High School, Churchill Jr. High, and ROWVA High Schools attended the fun — and educational — course. A video of the final presentations from the class is below:

Held from June18th through the 22nd, the program was filled with activities and presentations that covered the most important elements of creating an idea and bringing it to market.

The first day began with a tour of the Sustainable Business Center, showing how new businesses are incubated. Ryan Lilly, the manager of the Entrepreneurship Center along with Carrie McKillip, Unit Educator for the University of Illinois Extnesion, taught the students various topics necessary for a basic understanding of entrepreneurship — including operations of a business, marketing, and finance.

After a snack break each day generously provided by the En Season kitchen, a local entrepreneur came in to speak to the students. The entrepreneurs were Linda Lewis (inventor of The Flipple), Dr. Rita Yarde of The Path Center for Healing, Eric Ballard of Sitka Salmon Shares, and Sri Deivasigamani of Intellihot. This was a valuable experience for the children to see that everyday people like themselves can have an idea turn it into a successful business.

The class not only gave the children the confidence to share their creativity, but it laid-out a road in front of them. The students saw that there is a route to success in entrepreneurship, even if it is not always an easy one. Club Biz was able to take the creative thoughts of our youth and empower them. It shows them that entrepreneurship can be attained by anyone who has the right attitude and dedication to pursue their dreams.

For more information contact Ryan Lilly, Manager of the Entrepreneurship Center of West Central Illinois. 309-371-0473 or

Article by Tim Worrell and Elena Johnson, Economic Development Interns for the City of Galesburg. Video produced and edited by Tim Worrell.

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