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COVID threw us a curveball - our 2020 entrepreneurs hit it out of the park.

2020 has been a wild experience. Many businesses had to pivot - a trait we applaud in entrepreneurship.

GSE 2020 was a highly competitive summer program where 72 Kentucky high school students focused on product innovation and business model design. This summer, we launched with an innovative “hybrid” approach due to COVID-19. While the program was not able to be on site at Northern Kentucky University this summer, GSE students from Paducah to Pikeville attended virtual sessions 3 days a week and met in person at entrepreneurial hubs across the state 2 days a week, until we made a data-driven decision to move fully online.

“COVID-19 has brought new challenges for all of us but as entrepreneurs, we love challenges. We also know that entrepreneurs are needed now more than ever before,” said Natasha Sams, GSE’s executive director. “We have been working hard to rethink our approach and push to boundaries to what is possible when it comes to translating GSE into a hybrid experience to keep our students safe. We are so appreciative of our statewide partners who jumped at the idea to help us pivot and allow our entrepreneurs to work in small groups to enhance our online sessions. I think we have developed a really unique experience for all, and this nimble model represents a great example of the power of collaboration.”


Grit. Growth. Resilience.

Our approach to COVID-19 in Summer 2020 relied on strategic planning, a network of organizations across the state, and a team of young entrepreneurs ready to take action.

Now, more than ever, young entrepreneurs are needed to help sustain and rebuild Kentucky’s economy. Our unique hybrid approach included a state-of-the-art conferencing software, partnering with entrepreneurial hubs, and exceptional students.



Hopin partnered with us - allowing us to use their video conferencing platform in exchange for beta testing. This was a collaboration software like no other. Accessible. Adaptable. Slick.


Entrepreneurial Hubs

Coworking locations across the state welcomed our young entrepreneurs into their spaces and helped us follow COVID-19 safety guidelines.


Exceptional Entrepreneurs

These high schoolers were committed to a transformational experience. Three weeks of intensive collaborative work paid off.