When Somerset Community College student Timothy Phelps received an informational e-mail about a program that offered a trip around the world, he jumped at the chance to get involved. The e-mail detailed information about the “Your Big Year” program, which is part of Smaller Earth, an organization that coordinates and conducts volunteer programs around the globe. Also as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Your Big Year event was designed to encourage entrepreneurship and global citizenship.
Coming up November 14 through 20, Global Entrepreneurship Week is the “world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare,” according to the Global Entrepreneurship Week web site www.unleashingideas.org. And on November 2, President Obama recognized the efforts of the week, declaring November as National Entrepreneurship Month.
Although Global Entrepreneurship Week is a world-wide event, Phelps decided to take on the challenges associated with the Your Big Year effort and bring Global Entrepreneurship Week to Somerset.
Phelps, a Somerset native, has been working independently with the Your Big Year program and is now competing for a change to travel to Liverpool, England to compete with others in the program for a trip around the world.
“I’ve always been interested in travel,” said Phelps, a single dad and SCC information technology program student. “I worked for seven years helping people with disabilities and I enjoyed what I got from the experience. I want to volunteer in other countries and hope to start with a Smaller Earth trip next summer.”
To bring the ideas of Your Big Year to a local level, Phelps has worked with area business professionals to create a free event entitled “Leaders of Enterprise.” The event will be held on Wednesday, November 16 from 5 to 8 p.m. at The Center for Rural Development. Speakers at the event include: Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler; Ward Correll, Lake Cumberland Shell; Timothy Phelps, Heavenly Visions Photography; Michael Keck, Vice President, Five Talents Financial Group; and Ray Goodearl, Vice President, International Sales and Marketing at Superior Battery.
In addition to the speakers, Phelps has arranged to provide a $1,000 scholarship to one student who supplies the best vision for the future. Those interested should write a brief essay on their vision and dreams for the future. The scholarship, provided by Correll, will be awarded at the event on November 16.
Phelps is also offering an additional $1,000 prize for the best business plan submitted. This Entrepreneurship Award will be given at the event.
“For someone out there thinking of starting a business or trying to get off the ground, the $1,000 prize may help keep their heads above water,” said Phelps. “And hopefully this will encourage people to dream.”
To submit an essay for the scholarship or a business plan for the Entrepreneurship Award, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org before November 15. According to Phelps, winners in both areas will be selected by the event panel.
Phelps, who operates a computer and photography business, hopes to one day start a non-profit organization to help individuals in the community through scholarships, job placement and small business support.