BIDDEFORD — Young entrepreneurs will have a chance this holiday season to try their hand running a business as part of a new competition.

High school and college students are being asked to submit a business plan concept with the name of a teacher or mentor for the Rising Business Leaders Youth Pop-Up Competition. Four teams will be selected from the pool of applicants, provided start-up funds, a storefront and small business support to open their business on Main Street from Nov. 5 to Dec. 3. Team members are expected to staff their business from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at a minimum during this time.

The competition is sponsored by the Orton Family Foundation with support from local property owners and downtown revitalization nonprofit Heart of Biddeford. Heart of Biddeford Executive Director Delilah Poupore said she learned about the competition concept while attending the National Main Street Conference. 

“One of the goals developed during our downtown master plan process was to provide positive opportunities for youth downtown,” she said. “This project is a great combination of the two.”

After the month of operating the business, teams will be judged based on net-profit, storefront design, marketing and entrepreneurial spirit. The winning team will keep 50 percent of their profits and the other teams will keep 25 percent. Remaining profits will be split between sponsoring organizations to help fund next year’s competition.  

The deadline to submit proposals is Monday, Oct. 3. For more information, visit