Application sought for Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute

Published 12:39 pm Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Center for Rural Development is now accepting applications for the 2019 Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute (ELI).

The Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute’s purpose is to develop future business leaders and entrepreneurs in Southern and Eastern Kentucky. High school freshmen, sophomores and juniors from throughout The Center’s 45-county service area are encouraged to apply.

ELI is an intensive, weeklong program focused on developing creativity, teamwork, business and leadership skills. The Institute is developed, coordinated and supervised by The Center for Rural Development. All lodging, meals, and program expenses (with the exception of transportation to and from the program) are offered at no cost to the student.

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“Many of these students will utilize the skills they learn during the week at ELI to become the region’s next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs,” Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center, said.

Activities during the week are both educational and fun. Participants will be divided into teams. The weeklong Institute includes classroom instruction, guest speakers, competitions and tours of local businesses. The concluding event will be a team business concept competition and the chance to compete for a college scholarship.

“ELI gave me the fundamental, basic knowledge on how to be a successful entrepreneur,” said 2016 ELI alumni Grace Sink.

“This was a great learning experience of how a business would work and how a simple idea can turn into a large company. The ELI program helped me to learn how to be a team player and work with others to accomplish a goal,” added 2016 ELI alumni Colton Morrow.

The 2019 Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute will take place Monday, July 22 through Friday, July 26 at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset. A total of 20 students from The Center’s 45-county service area will be selected for the program in 2019.

To be eligible to apply, the student must:

· Be a high school freshman, sophomore or junior at a high school located within the 45-county service area of The Center for Rural Development including Bell and Harlan counties.

· Have a demonstrated interest in business, leadership and entrepreneurship.

· Have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4 point scale).

To apply for the 2019 Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute, visit The deadline to submit the online application and supporting documents is 8 a.m. on April 2.

For more information or questions about the online application process, contact Allison Cross at 606-677-6000 or

Established in 1996 through the vision of U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers, (KY-05), and other leaders, The Center for Rural Development is a nonprofit organization fueled by a mission to provide leadership that stimulates innovative and sustainable economic development solutions and a better way of life in Southern and Eastern Kentucky. In its 45-county primary service region, The Center provides innovative programs in leadership, public safety, technology, and arts and culture. The Center is committed to constantly expanding its capabilities in order to deliver a range of key services throughout Kentucky and the nation.