What’s Start-Up Cecil?

A small business contest for teens. Display your entrepreneurial skills and get your ideas out there!
Work with librarians and mentors from the local business community to create a business plan.
Then, at the Start-Up Cecil Showcase, present your business to the judges and the public.

About the Contest

What can I win?
Prizes include:
First Prize—$200 Visa card
Second Prize—$100 Visa card
Third Prize—$50 Visa card
Plus, all participants receive a Start-Up Cecil t-shirt and personalized business cards!

Who can enter?
Anyone between the ages of 11 and 17.

What’s the deadline?
Completed business plans must be submitted  by 5PM on Monday, July 9th to any CCPL branch or via email to sbic@ccplnet.org

How do I win?
Business Plan + Presentation = Winner!

The judges will choose the winners based on two criteria: your business plan and your presentation.

Guidelines and Tips

Your Presentation
Think Shark Tank!
Get creative!
Explain your business plan and ideas.
Use visual aids like PowerPoint, posters, or product examples.
Speak clearly and loudly.
Remember, your presentation and business plan will count equally.
Practice in front of friends and family to help with confidence!

Your Business Plan
Read and answer all questions completely.
Use databases to support your answers and research your competition.
Ask mentors and librarians for help if you have a question.
You can find the business plan template here.


Session 1: Get Inspired!(Monday, June 18th @ 3:30 PM)
Brainstorm your business ideas and learn what it takes to win this year's Start-Up Cecil!

Session 2: Make it Happen! (Monday, June 25th @ 3:30 PM)
Get help from the experts and write your business plan!

Session 3: Pitch and Promote! (Monday, July 9th @ 3:30 PM)
Get the tools you need to engage your audience, market your business, and impress the judges.

Showcase (Monday, July 16th @ 6:00 PM)
Pitch your business idea to our panel of judges and find out the winner for this year's Start-Up Cecil. Invite your friends and family to come watch!

*All programs are held at the Elkton Central Library


Do I have to come to all of the programs to enter the contest?
Nope, it's not required, but you must attend the Start-Up Cecil Showcase and present your business on July 16th to be considered for the contest. 

Can I work in a team?
Yes! You may work as a team, but the max number of teens per team is 3, and all members must meet age requirements.

How do I submit my business plan?
Bring your completed business plan to any branch or email it to sbic@ccplnet.org by 5 PM on Monday, July 9th.

What type of business can I enter?
Get creative! What type of business would YOU want to start? Think about your interests and hobbies, and think about the types of businesses you would like to see in your community. 

Special thanks to our sponsor: The Columbia Bank. 

Congratulations to Last Year's Start-Up Cecil Winners!