Start-Up Cecil LogoTrying to keep your teens busy this summer? While your teen might be looking for a summer job, they might also dream about starting their own business. Two books that might be entrepreneurially inspiring are “Start It Up: The complete teen business guide to turning your passions into pay by Kenrya Rankin” and “Beyond the Lemonade Stand: starting small to make it BIG by Bill Rancic.”

For teens ages 11-17 that are ready for hands-on learning and advice, Cecil County Public Library is hosting Start-Up Cecil, a teen small business plan contest. This four part series will expose teens to the concept of entrepreneurship and what it takes to operate a small business. At the end final session, teens will pitch their plan to a judging panel at the business plan showcase with the hopes of winning cash prizes to invest in their business concept thanks to local sponsor, Columbia Bank. The sessions are planned for June 19, 26 and July 10 with the Showcase on July 17 at the Elkton Library. It is not mandatory to attend all sessions, but highly recommended.

Last year, after a talk by teen entrepreneur Shreyas Parab who owns Novel Tie, we had over 20 teens participate, and their innovative ideas inspired all who attended the showcase. Some of the ideas from last year included: a chore service for senior citizens, a lawn care service that uses goats, healthy cupcakes and a dinner theater.

If your teen is energized by Start-Up Cecil or can’t attend but is interested in becoming an entrepreneur, another local competition is the Diamond Challenge for High School Entrepreneurs through the University of Delaware. Submissions begin this September and entries come from students around the world.

We are so excited to see what ideas the teens come up with this year. To register for this program or to get more information, contact the Cecil County Public Library at 410-996-5600 ext. 481 or visit

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