Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation E-Community, in association with the Network Kansas E-Community Partnership, announces the Ford County Youth Entrepreneurship Competition will take place in Dodge City in February, as part of the 2017-2018 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge series.

The competition will be held on Thursday, Feb. 22 at the Dodge City Community College Little Theater.

The goal of the competition is to expose Kansas middle school and high school students to entrepreneurship.

"This is an exciting and fun experience for students," said Mollea Wainscott with the Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation in a press release. "Allowing students the opportunity to show off their business ideas in front of judges and their peers while competing for a cash prize, the winners of the local 2017 competition competed and placed at State with their drone areal photography business.

"They were hired by the Dodge City Chamber of Commerce to photograph Dodge City Days."

Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation is one of many community organizations across Kansas to host a locally organized event designed to give students a hands-on entrepreneurship experience.

The competition will consist of students preparing a executive summary, and a formal presentation.

The students will be competing against each other for $3,500 in prize money. The students’ work will be judged by local entrepreneurs, public sector partners, teachers, or other adults.

This is the second year the development corporation has brought this competition to their county.

"Students tell us every year how local entrepreneurship competitions open their eyes to new career possibilities, reward innovation and creative problem solving, and give them valuable experience presenting ideas to a panel of judges. It’s a wonderful gift that the community can give their youth," said Anne Dewvall, manager of the E-Community Partnership.

During 2016-2017, 454 students from more than 20 communities hosted 21 local entrepreneurship competitions as part of the YEC series. The 2017-2018 academic year marks the fifth annual YEC series coordinated by NetWork Kansas and the E-Community Partnership.

The annual YEC series culminates in a statewide championship, where the top students from each local competition face off against each other for prize money and other honors.

The 2018 statewide championship will be held on April 24 at Kansas State University.

For more information contact Wainscott with the Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation, at  620-371-3869  or housing@dodgedev.org. For more information about NetWork Kansas or the E-Community Partnership, visit www.networkkansas.com.