Talented Clear Lake teens earn honors plugging into community business needs | #socialmedia | #children


(Above) Paige Rolling and Jillian Enke

The NIACC John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and North Iowa Area SBDC have recognized Clear Lake High School seniors Paige Rolling and Jillian Enke as the April 2021 Entrepreneurs of the Month.

The founders of Clear Lake Connected, a boutique digital marketing business, may not be what you expected. Rolling and Enke founded the business in August 2020 after attending the NIACC Youth Entrepreneurial Academy. Clear Lake Connected serves the small business owners of Clear Lake, creating brand awareness and engagement campaigns, bringing Main Street businesses into the digital world. 

The pair say they were inspired to start Clear Lake Connected after seeing the effect of COVID-19 on Clear Lake’s predominately brick and mortar shops.

“We live in Clear Lake where there’s a lot of local businesses. With COVID hitting, we saw how hard it was for them and we thought how can we help? And we came up with social media marketing,” explained Enke.  

“There’s never going to be a perfect time, so just jump!”

Jillian Enke

Clear Lake’s businesses have traditionally thrived without the assistance of digital marketing – reliable foot traffic from the town’s well-known status as a bustling tourist destination has often been enough. But as mandated closures and social distancing measures placed limitations on business as usual, many local businesses struggled to adapt. Without a website, or even a social media presence to fall back on, let alone an online store to maintain sales, small brick-and-mortar shops were caught playing catch up. Rolling and Enke determined that there was a need – and they were positioned to help fulfill it.

Clear Lake Connected provides a range of social media and digital marketing services which can be found at their website www.clearlakeconnected.com. These services include social media management, the planning of social media posts, content creation, customer interaction, and the creation and revamping of accounts. The company specializes in Facebook and Instagram management, but also provides services for other platforms as well.

Kelley O’Rourke, of the NIACC Pappajohn Center, said the young entrepreneurs are capitalizing on their technological savvy and understanding of modern marketing. 

“The upcoming generation of entrepreneurs are digital natives who have an innate understanding of how digital technologies, including social media, can be used to 

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