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Maryland youth a finalist in entrepreneurship contest

An 11-year-old Maryland girl could earn $5,000 in seed funding for her business idea, which would use the proceeds from selling cupcakes to help raise money for literacy, art, music and other educational programs. The girl was recently named as a finalist in the Learn and Earn, Grow Your Own Business Challenge, an entrepreneurship competition organized by Warren Buffet's Secret Millionaires Club. She also received organizational advice from local experts.

The girl's business, called Cupcakes for Literacy, grew out of a website featuring videos of her reading to young children. While she and several classmates currently bake and sell cupcakes in the girl's home, she hopes to eventually transition to a commercial kitchen. She also plans to pursue more partnerships with government agencies and educational non-profit organizations. Speaking to an audience of entrepreneurial advisors at the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship, the girl explained that improved literacy rates correspond with decreased poverty and less exploitation of children. She also stressed the importance of reading programs for children.

The young entrepreneur was selected from a pool of more than 4,000 school children with their own business ideas. The advisors lauded the charitable spirit of her plan and gave her tips for presenting her idea to other audiences, though they said she did well at remaining calm. The girl reported being nervous at the beginning of her speech but was ultimately able to relax and is excited to present her idea to a bigger group. "I figured I was a one-in-a-billion chance because people have so many great ideas," she explained. "The fact that [Buffet] picked mine just touches my heart."

A director with the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship and co-chair of Startup Maryland who personally coached the girl said the Center hopes to give her "all the support she needs" and continue its goal of helping other entrepreneurs sustain long-term businesses.

Developing a concept or idea for a business is important but it is only the first step in getting a fledgling company off the ground. An attorney experienced in business and commercial law can help a prospective entrepreneur by offering qualified advice regarding the complicated legal processes involved in forming, incorporating, restructuring and managing a business in Maryland.

Source:  MDBizNews, "Maryland kid entrepreneur pitching cupcakes to Warren Buffet" Emily Kimball, May. 17, 2013

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