Following months of training and planning, the Generation E program is ready to launch in Charlotte. Driven by local volunteers, John Bailey, Laurie Newland and Rick Todd, the six-week course is designed to teach students the ins and outs of creating and running a business — from idea to market.

At the end of the program, students will have created a business that they will showcase at the Generation E Regional Expo, scheduled for April 2014 in Lansing. The course is offered free of charge, though students would have to raise money to cover their start up costs.

Todd said this opportunity gives local youth a chance to turn a hobby or personal interest into a business. Students would come up with their own ideas, which will be cultivated by the guidance of the GenEI curriculum.

The program kicks off Monday, March 3 at Crosswalk Teen Center and will run each Monday through March from 3 to 5 p.m. The course is off during Spring Break, but resumes April 14.

“The week of April 21 the kids will run their new business for one day at AL!VE,” said Newland. “Then, on April 30th, we will have them go to the Lansing Center to be part of the regional showcase to present their business in an expo style event.”

Bailey, Newland and Todd completed training last fall to become certified to teach the GenEI curriculum — a Battle Creek-based non-profit that offers youth entrepreneurial education programs and consulting services. Generation E, through a collaborative effort with Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) and AL!VE, secured a grant to provide training for up to 54 people in the tri-county area.

For more information about Generation E Institute and the local training available in Charlotte, contact Rick Todd at (517) 256-7276.