Little Business Leaders

local inventor creates contest for young entrepreneurs

Haley Wright

Kim Nimsgern uses a Styl Styk.
Kim Nimsgern uses a Styl Styk.

Kim Nimsgern, the Menomonie-based inventor of the Click n Curl and creator of Casual Panache Inc., has found a way to support and inspire young female entrepreneurs in the Chippewa Valley in pursuing their dreams through a contest called the Tadpole Tank.

“Now that the business is established and we’re adding to the product line, we’re able to think bigger than ourselves and give back to the community, particularly to young entrepreneurs.”– HANNAH COLE of CLICK N CURL

Nimsgern came up with the idea of the Tadpole Tank contest as a way to give back to the community that contributed so much to her in the development stages of her product. “Kim is quick to share that her success did not come without the help of the community throughout western Wisconsin and beyond. It was a group of students at UW-Stout who designed the first prototype, the packaging, and other key elements of her invention, the Click n Curl; she said this was her motivation for the contest,” says Hannah Cole of Click n Curl. “Now that the business is established and we’re adding to the product line, we’re able to think bigger than ourselves and give back to the community, particularly to young entrepreneurs.” The contest is open to youths under the age of 18 at the time of entry, and an entry can be made by the young person or by a parent or guardian on their behalf. Voting begins on June 1 and runs through August 26, with a scholarship of up to $1,500 to be awarded to the winner based on votes on the website. Additionally, for each sale of Casual Panache’s Styl Styk product during the contest, $1 is designated by the customer to be given to the contestant of their choosing to support their education, in addition to the scholarship funds to be awarded.

Nimsgern hopes this contest sheds light on and encourages all of the talent and potential that exists right here in the Chippewa Valley: “I want to find those ‘little business leaders!’ Did a student make and sell hair bows to raise money to go on a mission trip? Grow a pumpkin patch and use the earnings to buy something they wanted? Sell cookies in a unique way? I want to tell students, ‘Your ideas are awesome! Your drive will take you far. You are an innovator. You can make it. And I want to help you.’ ”

Cole says Nimsgern feels “it’s important for young women to know that possibilities are endless; with an idea, drive, and passion, you can create the life you want to live. If you have an idea or a dream, there are people and resources out there who want to support you on the journey.” In addition, she hopes that the contest becomes an annual event that contestants look forward to participating in.  

To learn more, check out tadpoletank.com.

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