Entrepreneurial Scholarships

NWILED John D. Cooke, III Memorial Entrepreneurial Scholarship

Since 2018 NWILED has offered the annual entrepreneurial scholarship. On December 8, 2021, the NWILED Board of Directors unanimously voted to rename the annual scholarship in honor and remembrance of the late John D Cooke III who was a founding member of the organization. The NWILED John D. Cooke, III Memorial Entrepreneurial Scholarship is open to all high school seniors in Carroll and Jo Daviess Counties.

NWILED offers three scholarships to graduating high school seniors from Carroll or Jo Daviess Counties who are entrepreneurial and want to start a business or pursue a career in business. There is one $2,000 first place award and two $1,500 runners up awards. Recipients shall be full-time students in good academic standing in the qualifying school year. Scholarships can be used for start-up costs related to launching a business and or advancing a career in business through education and or training.

 The application window typically opens by early February and closes late March with winners announced in May. Year to year, applications are subject to change, so students should be mindful and not use prior year forms. 
Past winners have included students connected to Three Sisters Sweet Shoppe in Elizabeth, and Davis Lumber Company in Scales Mound, in addition to a student from Savanna that proposed a sign language business, and a student from the Galena Territory who is developing a hand-crafted artisan doll line. The 2022 winner helps operate Hoof It Goat Treks in Galena with her family, an adventure-based agritourists business.

The application window for the 2023 scholarship opened January 4th and will close March 17th.

2023 Application