youth Entrepreneur Camp Eseedling

Youth Entrepreneur Camps – A Fun Way to Learn about Business

youth Entrepreneur Camp Eseedling

More Than a Lemonade Stand Youth Entrepreneur Camp

“Just because you’re a kid doesn’t mean you can’t start a business”. That was what Sophia (a youth entrepreneur camper) said to me last summer. And the best part is she was right! It is amazing the ideas that kids come up with during camp. Sometimes they come with something they have been working on and sometimes they think of something at camp. I have seen everything from lawn mowing, tutoring, pet sitting, creating t-shirts, teaching music, creating operating systems, and developing apps. One trend that I’ve seen in the past few years is an increase in creating social enterprises (a company that gives back and helps others).

In the one week youth entrepreneur camp kids ages 9 and up (there’s two separate age groups) come up with their own business idea (based on their strengths and interests) and learn business basics such as marketing, financials, customer service, and branding. They play the biz ops game™ (a game based learning experience where small teams of 4-5 run a paper airplane business) to learn about business operations, create, market and run a real lemonade stand business (to raise funds for the camp scholarship fund), learn from experienced entrepreneurs, present their business ideas to their peers and create a poster to present their business to friends and families. They leave the camp with the tools and knowledge they need to start their business.
How did it all get started? I would like to think of it as fate! I was a very entrepreneurial kid (the e-seedling story is on our website http://www.eseedling.com) with entrepreneurial parents and I realized how much fun it was (even though I had many failures) and the freedom that it allowed (we took many family trips). Even though I went into teaching and what I call the “work world”, I longed for the freedom of being an entrepreneur.
When I was 27, I started a business with a partner and realized that I had no clue on how to run a “real” business. I learned more in the next 3 years, then probably anytime in my entire career. The business was purchased by a regional firm where I again found myself as an employee. Years later, I was fortunate enough to get a job at the UW-Madison Small Business Development Center which held a youth entrepreneur camp. In 2008, when the economy suffered, the camp was in jeopardy of being cancelled. I proposed to rewrite the curriculum so that we could teach it in-house. It has become very successful and each year it fills earlier. Since there is a huge need, and the SBDC doesn’t have the resources to hold more camps, I decided to again become an entrepreneur and start E-seedling to run camps and help others to do the empower kids through entrepreneurship. I agree with Sophia, that you’re never too young to start a business, you just need the opportunity and the knowledge of how.

Our Youth Entrepreneur camp was featured in the May blog post of Teaching Today WI – This is a reprint of that Blog post 

July youth entrepreneur camps are open for registration (week of July 10 for ages 10-12 and week of July 17 for ages 13-14). For more information visit eseedling.com 

I have an Aspiring Entrepreneur – now what?

You have an aspiring entrepreneur in your house or classroom; the one setting up a lemonade stand and sitting out in the front yard until dark or the one that is making bracelets and selling them to their friends at school or the one that is always asking their neighbors if they can take care of their pets.  So how do you keep that entrepreneurial fire burning?  Here are some tips on how to get started!

  1. Choose a business idea. If they haven’t chosen a specific business idea, they should chose and commit to one. You can’t start learning about how to start and run a business until you actually do it. If they need inspiration help them think about their interests, what they’ve learned and what they like to do in their spare time.
  2. Determine the goal. Once they come up with an idea, have them come up with a goal. Is it just to have fun? Is it to earn money for something they want to buy? Is it to learn more about business and finances?  Whatever it is, have them write it down and be specific.  The more specific it is, the more likely they are to accomplish it.
  3. Create a plan. Once they have their idea and a goal, they need a plan on how to get there. They will need action steps to take to achieve their goal. These can be such things as how many people do I need to contact, how many products do I need to make, etc.
  4. What is the budget. They will need items to start-up their business and make their product or provide their service. Do they have money already saved up or will they need to borrow money from you? Have them put together a list of what they need and the costs so they can figure out how to get the money they need.
  5. Legal Stuff. They already have your approval but before putting it into action, you may need to check if any legal permits are needed. Each state, city & town has their own rules so it is always a good idea to check and see what is required. There may be free or reduced legal resources at your local business center or university or college so you might want to check on that.
  6. Just Do It! Most entrepreneurs learn while running their business and since entrepreneurship is about taking action, there is no better way. Be sure to keep track of your expenses, sales and what is working and not working. That way you can keep doing what works and make changes as needed.

Being an entrepreneur is a rewarding experience and I can’t think of a more fun way to learn and earn money during the summer!

Want more resources to help your aspiring entrepreneur? Here are a few to check out:

LINK to Amazon, You’re Never too Young to Start a Business e-book (with downloadable worksheets)

LINK to YouTube Mini-Lesson Monday’s for Young Entrepreneurs

LINK to more Information on Summer Youth Entrepreneur Camps in Madison, WI

If you would like to know more about how to bring youth entrepreneurship to your area contact Julie Wood at juliewood@eseedling.com or visit eseedling.com 

youth Entrepreneur Camp Eseedling

Make Memories at Camp This Summer!

youth Entrepreneur Camp Eseedling

More Than a Lemonade Stand Youth Entrepreneur Camp

Did you love camp when you were a kid? (I sure did!).

I loved staying in a tent or cabin, slurping slushies, singing fun songs, making s’mores around the campfire and learning all kinds of new things by experiencing them first hand.  I loved it so much I became a 4-H camp counselor when I was a teen and then spent many hours volunteering at Scout Camps as an adult. Now, I am so fortunate that I get to direct and teach youth entrepreneur camps each summer.

Camps are a great way for kids to experience and learn things they may not have the opportunity to in school.

Entrepreneurship is a prime example of this. The great thing about an entrepreneurship camp is that kids not only learn about business; they get to learn about their own passions and talents and how they can make a difference in the world. Many kids who don’t do well sitting at a desk all day, thrive in a camp environment. It increases their self-confidence and they actually get excited about learning.

In the More Than a Lemonade Stand Youth Entrepreneur Camps kids come up with a business idea that they work on all week and can actually implement once they leave the camp. They learn business operations, teamwork and collaboration by playing the Biz Ops Game™, they run a real lemonade stand business to raise funds for the camp scholarship fund and they give business presentations.  The week is packed with experiential learning activities in a fun environment.

Many kids say that “it was so fun that I didn’t even feel like I was learning”.

This excerpt from the American Camp Association Website expresses the benefits of camp:

At camp, when children make new friends, explore the world around them, and learn that “I can” is much more powerful than “I can’t”, magic happens. In an environment created just for them, children learn real life skills, develop self-esteem, and gain a sense of independence and community. Whether children are playing, exploring nature, conquering new heights, or becoming part of a camp family, they are creating memories that will last a lifetime – See more at: http://www.acacamps.org/campers-families/because-camp#sthash.44KAY3o4.dpuf

It’s never too early to starting looking for camps in your area (I’m amazed that many camps are nearly full by May 1st).

There are camps of every subject possible so there is bound to be something that your kids are interested in. (The American Camp Association website is one place you can check for camps in your area www.acacamps.org).

What I really like about Youth Entrepreneur Camps is that the camper chooses their own business idea based on their unique strengths, interests and talents so it fits everyone!

To Check out the More Than a Lemonade Stand Youth Entrepreneur Camps in Madison, WI this summer CLICK HERE.

Don’t have a Youth Entrepreneur Camp in your area – contact juliewood@eseedling.com to see how you can get one going!