The Charlotte Shaper Hub has identified a creative approach to addressing youth unemployment, a problem that has long-term negative implications for the local economy and that resonates deeply with members of our group.

We are excited to launch Shape Charlotte – an innovative, business model competition created for and by the next generation of leaders. Shape Charlotte will foster an entrepreneurial spirit among those under the age of 30 by empowering participants to act as agents of change through innovation and ultimately job creation.

The project will foster a spirit of entrepreneurship in Charlotte by providing mentorship, financial support and in-kind support to project participants. Selected competitors will be matched with mentors who have proven experience and results in business. They will produce a 90-second video pitch outlining their idea and deliver a five-minute presentation to a highly regarded panel of business professionals. Competitors will be judged based on:

(a) the attractiveness of the business idea,

(b) the viability of the market opportunity, and

(c) the potential impact on youth unemployment in Charlotte.

Shape Charlotte will raise awareness about the entrepreneurial community in Charlotte. It will also provide funding and ongoing support for the top two project ideas. All participants will be provided with a tool-kit for launching a successful business plan.

Image: Charlotte skyline, Wikipedia