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ClassE is an entrepreneurial development class that aims to educate Coles County high school juniors and seniors about the opportunities and challenges of starting and running a new business venture. We expect that students who complete the class will go on to successfully run their own businesses.

In this experiential learning dual-credit class, the students are selected through an application process, and learn about what it is like to be an entrepreneur and start their very own business. By touring and interacting with more than 82 Coles County business owners and working on a group business with fellow classmates, students will develop leadership and professional skills that are important for success.

Through this program, we hope to create an intergenerational business success network that encourages students to remember their roots, resulting in potential businesses and job creation in Coles County, thereby securing its future health and economic vitality.


More About ClassE ClassE:

• Is an experiential learning experience that teaches skills in entrepreneurship, job readiness and leadership

• Is a year-long high school course where students start a business

• Is a dual-credit class through Lake Land College that will transfer as an elective to Eastern Illinois University and other four year institutions

• Is open to Coles County high school juniors and seniors

• Meets Monday through Friday during early bird and first hour class

• Meets in local businesses and has a home base in the LifeSpan Center

• Students must apply by writing an essay to gain admittance to the class


Get Out the Vote: Cross County Innovation Center

Please vote to help Mattoon in Motion's Cross County Innovation Center win an additional $250,000 Google grant money. This money will be used to create this space located in the Cross County Mall in Mattoon. We are wanting to create a space, but it is more about what happens in that space - new ideas will collide, start-ups will learn and be mentored, entrepreneurs will collaborate and be given the assistance they need to grow and in turn help our region grow.

We have already been awarded a $75,000 grant, now let's spread the word so we can be the grand prize winner. For more information, see www.mattooninmotion.com.

Cross County Innovation Center




"We receive great knowledge from the top business minds of Coles County."


"All I heard about this class before I took it was that it helps you to make connections and now that I'm in it, I understand why.  We haven't met a small business owner yet who didn't tell us we could call or email them if we had any questions about anything.  These are tremendously influential individuals in the community that we're now friends with."


One thing that I learned in this class is most people tend to want to support people starting out. Make those connections because you will never know when they may be needed. Oh, and Mrs. Dau is one of the best resources you have. She is a wonderful person and is always there to help.


 I am currently living in Edwardsville Illinois pursuing a degree in Biology, still wanting to be a Physician or something similar. I am still running my ClassE Business to this day!!! I did nearly 35 houses this summer, just four more than the pervious washing season! My advertising has changed in Edwardsville. I strictly only contact realtors for business now to shorten my hours. I would not be an entrepreneur today if it wasn't for ClassE! 

Dylan Wolf


This past summer I interned with a company called OSI. Business skills and interviewing tips I learned from ClassE helped me land the position.


I've had this (small mowing business) for the past seven years and it has produced good money for me. However, after my school year in ClassE I was able to take it to the next level and really be able to take more advantage of my opportunities. 


This class helped me get a huge scholarship, learn how to officially set up a business, and most importantly, how to communicate.


Pay attention to everything that is going on and you will learn more than almost any other class you take.

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If you don't go into business later in life that's fine, because this class makes you treat your life like a business.  It teaches you how to manage your free time, how to talk to people, and make connections thoughout the community.

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I used to be shy and not really participate in classes, but being in ClassE has helped me learn how to talk to people and ask questions to gain knowledge that I need to be an entrepreneur.

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My favorite part of this class is meeting all of these new peple and hearing their stories of how they became so successful.  This has definitely been the most educational and enjoyable class I have ever taken.  I've learned a lot about how to communicate with people which will be useful all throughout my life.

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This class has been the most helpful and resourceful class I have ever taken.  It was such a great help when first starting my smoothie stand.  I hope to have my smoothie comany grow after I leave the class.  One piece of valuable advice I would give a future student is to manage your time wisely because in the business world, time is everything.


“This class has given me a very useful arsenal of tools. Through tours, speakers and networking, I have gotten many contacts for future use, along with business knowledge that cannot be matched. This class has helped put me and my classmates ahead of the business competition before it even started.”


“It was a great experience to be able to learn with real-life businesses.” 


“Being apart of ClassE is one of the best opportunities anyone my age can receive. You learn so much more than anyone will learn on a regular school day that will help you throughout your entire life.” 


“This Class has been the key to expanding my small business. Other businesses in the area teach us how to be successful and what to do in certain situations. Even if I don’t go into business, this class has taught me multiple life skills.”

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