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Empowering future business leaders, entrepreneurs through virtual program to help kids bring their business concepts to life

The Florida 4-H Youth Development Program, in partnership with the Florida Afterschool Network, Birdseed and Tkiba, is on a statewide search for the most innovative young entrepreneurs, inventors, creators, and businesspeople!

The new program, titled “The Gator Pit” is a free program open to all youth between the ages of 14-18 in the state of Florida.

Each year, Floridian youth enrolled in The Gator Pit will be taught how to transform their ideas into a viable business.

Participants will demonstrate goal setting, financial literacy, creativity, communication skills and effective marketing skills.

The Gator Pit is entirely virtual this year, and youth can choose which components to participate in.

The Gator Pit is broken down into four components: educational sessions, inspirational open discussions, pitch training and connections to be successful post-program.

These components not only prepare youth to launch their business, but also to provide youth with the building blocks to be a successful entrepreneur.

Sessions started on March 22, but there is a series of programs offered throughout the year that still remain available.

Youth can choose from three categories: physical product, service offering or a technology solution.

Past participants have said the program helped them to “think like an entrepreneur, develop a plan and a pitch, and succeed from there.”

Business ideas that have been explored through The Gator Pit have ranged from beekeeping, goat-milk soap making, smoothie businesses, drone technology, and even ideas centered around social causes.

Youth can enroll individually or as a team of up to four members.

All youth must register or already be registered in Florida 4-H to participate. Youth who wish to compete in the pitch competition have the chance to win $1,000 for first place, $350 for second place and $250 for third place.

Applications for the pitch contest are due in June.

For more information on the Gator Pit click HERE or contact Vanessa Spero, the regional specialized 4-H Extension agent, at

Special to The Herald – Chastity Turner –