HELENA – The Montana Chamber Foundation announced today its plans to host The Prospects, a statewide high school business plan and pitch competition. As a part of Envision 2026, the Montana Chamber of Commerce’s ten-year strategic plan, the organization is working to build an opportunity for business growth and prosperity by improving Montana’s talent pipeline and fostering the entrepreneurial spirit.

Kicking off November 16th, The Prospects offers scholarships, cash prizes, and mentoring for participating high school students and their small businesses. The competition also provides the opportunity for internships, apprenticeships, and work-based learning. The Montana Chamber Foundation is leading this collaborative initiative with Youth Entrepreneurs, a nationally recognized business education program.

“We appreciate the Montana business community investing in this program to find, celebrate, and reward promising high school students by providing them with mentorship, training, and access to business leaders. This promotes a positive self-image as innovative problem-solvers and entrepreneurs to motivate high school students to realize their full potential,” said Jim Masker, Success Managers Team of Youth Entrepreneurs.

Any of Montana’s 40,000+ high school students are eligible to submit their ideas for new, innovative businesses or present their existing businesses. The Chamber Foundation is also accepting student entries that convey how to solve a business challenge and innovative ways to generate revenue.

The Prospects is open to all Montana high school students from public, independent, or religious schools, homeschools, or HiSET. The Montana Chamber Foundation also encourages students enrolled in career and technical student organizations or other community youth organizations like 4-H, Scouts, and Boys & Girls Clubs to participate.

“The Information Age has enabled our youth to learn virtually, produce locally and sell globally. Generation Z must continue to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills that can leverage their access to knowledge, technology, and international markets at their fingertips”, added Matthew Olson, Director of Network Development for the Montana Chamber of Commerce.

Submission categories, competition requirements, important dates, and waiver forms can all be found online at the Montana Chamber of Commerce website.