It has never been a more important time to engage young people in the free enterprise system, for them to learn about businesses and how they are built, that they are human ventures and have human stories and attributes. Big businesses grow from small seeds. Even right where you live.
The American Business History Center was founded 18 months ago. Our goals were to reach history lovers, business leaders, and young people. We are making great progress with history lovers and those business leaders who understand the importance of history. Our newsletter now reaches 1,500-2,000 people each week and our website has grown from nothing to 1,000 visitors a month to 1,000 a week.
It is time for us to crank up our efforts to reach young people!
Toward that end, we will launch a student essay contest for high school students in the spring of 2021. We will ask entrants to write up the history of a locally-based business, big or small, in an essay of 1,500 to 3,000 words. The preliminary rules for the contest, subject to modification, are listed at the bottom of this email. (No submissions will be accepted until after the final rules are published next spring.)
We are working with other organizations that have access to thousands of high schools, teachers, and students to co-promote the essay contest.
In order to attract those students, we want to offer meaningful cash prizes. We need your donations in order to do so.
If you donate to this special fund for the essay contest by December 31, 2020, we will use 75% of the proceeds for prizes and no more than 25% for our overhead. At least 30% of the total raised will go to the first prize winner. Thus, if we raise $10,000, that first prize would be at least $3,000. We would love for it to be more.
If every reader of this newsletter donated $10, we would be ahead of those goals! ($25, $50, $100, or more are welcome, too.)
So please donate to this effort by clicking here!
Do not hesitate to contact us with your comments, suggestions, and questions.
We appreciate your support,
American Business History Center
Draft of AMERICAN BUSINESS HISTORY CENTER ESSAY CONTEST RULES
Essay Topic – Each essay should tell the history of a company in the writer’s home city, county, or metropolitan area, within the United States or its territories. The company must be based there, not a branch office or owned by another company. The company must be at least ten years old and have at least ten employees, but may also be much larger. Essays should tell the story of the organization since its founding, its products or services, how the company evolved, and who leads the company today. The best essays will point up the drama and human-interest aspects of the story. When available, the essays should contain data on the company, such as revenues or number of employees and the growth of the company over time. Essays may contain pictures of the products, factories, offices, and people. For this first year, we are not accepting the stories of non-profit organizations, though we hope to add that category in future contests.
Eligibility – The contest is open to writers aged 12-18 at some point during the contest period (February 1 – June 25, 2021). Only one submission will be accepted for each essay writer. Writers and the companies whose stories they tell must be located in the United States or its territories, and all submissions should be in English. Any person or organization involved in the operation and/or setup of the contest, and their immediate family members are not eligible for this contest.
Essay Length – Essays must be 1,500-3,000 words in length. Submissions that do not meet this requirement, or that exceed it, will be disqualified.
Deadline – Essays must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm Pacific Time, Friday, June 25, 2021.
Plagiarism – All essays must be the original work of the student whose name is listed on the submission form. Plagiarism will result in immediate disqualification.
Taxes – Winners will be solely responsible for any federal, state, or local taxes on winnings.
Judges – Essays will be judged on their ability to tell the history of a company in an articulate, clear, factual, and engaging manner. Our panel or panels of judges will evaluate essay submissions in a fair and unbiased judging system, in which judges all use the same criteria. Decisions of the judges are final.
Ownership and Use – The ownership of any submission remains the property of the writer, but entry into the competition constitutes the entrant’s permission and consent, without compensation, with or without attribution, for the American Business History Center to use, reproduce, transmit, post, distribute, adapt, edit, and/or display the submission.