The eighth annual Central Valley Entrepreneurial Leadership Program Final Competition will be held Tuesday, April 27, 2004, at 12 p.m. with the awards ceremony at 2 p.m., in the Gottschalks Gallery at the Peters Building of the Craig School of Business. The program, created by Dr. Timothy Stearns, is geared towards high school students from across the Valley whom are motivated to innovate, create and launch a business.

Throughout the two-semester program, student teams participate in six one-day seminars held at the University that teach the fundamental strategies of entrepreneurship. University faculty and college students guide student teams through the process of writing a business plan by exploring such topics as (1) the viability of a business idea, (2) competitive analysis, (3) market research, (4) accounting, (5) legal structures, (6) management principles, and (7) presentation skills. At the end of the program, students compete for scholarship monies totaling $3000.00. Each student team presents their business plan to a panel of judges comprised of business experts and successful entrepreneurs in the valley.

The Central Valley Entrepreneurial Leadership Program encourages students to be creative, imaginative and entrepreneurial by giving students a learners license: a permit that allows them the freedom to learn and to pursue their own ideas and take responsibility for their work. By employing such a hands-on and minds-on teaching methodology, learning comes naturally because the students are self-motivated to discover and innovate.