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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 

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!

Have you signed your kids up for camp?

CampsCamp is one my favorite memories from when I was a kid.  I loved staying in a tent or cabin, slurping slushies, singing fun songs 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 at age 16, volunteered many times at my sons’ Boy Scout camps and now I am so fortunate to direct and teach youth entrepreneur camps.

Camps are a great way for kids to experience and learn things they may not have the opportunity to in school.  What is interesting to me is that the kids who may not do well in school (sitting at a desk all day) flourish in a camp environment.  Year after year, I see kids come in on Monday morning not showing much self-confidence and by Friday when they are presenting an idea they are passionate about they are glowing with confidence. 

The following is from the American Camp Association Website which pretty much sums up 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

Since school is either out or soon to be out, it’s time to find a camp for your child(ren).  There are camps of every subject possible so there is bound to be something that they are interested in.  Many camps are already full but with some searching you will most likely find something that fits.  That’s what I really like about directing and teaching at Youth Entrepreneur Camps; the business each camper chooses to create takes into account their strengths, interests and talents so it fits everyone!

Since the UW-Madison SBDC Youth Entrepreneur Camp (where I have been the director for the past 8 years) is full and there is a long wait list, I have decided to add an E-Seedling Youth Entrepreneur Camp July 18-21 in Madison.  It is a 4 day (Mon-Thurs) commuter day camp for ages 10-14 (there will be breakouts based on age groups).  It is limited to 16 kids (8:1 instructor ratio) so register now before it’s full!  To find out more about the camp and to register, Click here!

Hope this is the year to start making memories and having fun at summer camp!

videos for young entrepreneurs

My Fave 5 Videos for teaching Young Entrepreneurs

videos for young entrepreneurs

movie theatre marquee

Everyone loves a good video, especially kids!  It’s always amazing to me that they can be somewhat loud and rambunctious and then a video comes on and voila; it’s like magic – they are mesmerized by the world of video, they pay attention and soak it in! That is why when I teach young entrepreneurs (adults seem to like them too), I interweave video with teaching and activities to make for a fun and effective learning environment.  Since I’m getting ready for the summer camp season, I thought I would share my top 5 videos for teaching young entrepreneurs.

 

  1. Entrepreneurs Can Change the World by Grasshopper, The Entrepreneurs Phone Company. (grasshopper.com) https://youtu.be/T6MhAwQ64c0 This video is a great introduction for a discussion on what an entrepreneur is, what they do and how they can make a difference.
  2. Channel One News Teen Entrepreneurs Wrap Up from Channelone.com. https://youtu.be/11bOrQG3xMw . This video is a great intro into the students choosing their own business idea.  It talks about passion, other businesses and the benefits of starting a business as a young entrepreneur.  Channel One News has lots of great information for teens and teachers can use many of the episodes as a fun classroom discussion starter.
  3. Saturday Night Live’s Pizza Eater Video with Melissa McCarthy. http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/pizza-business/n35040 Melissa McCarthy goes to the bank to get a loan for her new business. This humorous video works great as an example for learning the business model canvas.  In addition to being funny it shows that there is one huge flaw in her business idea (how to make revenue). After watching the video, work on the business model canvas as a group and fill in the building blocks based on the pizza eater business.  Here’s more information on the business model canvas if you are not familiar with it: http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/canvas/bmc
  4. Lemonaire: Youngest Entrepreneur from Umpqua Bank https://youtu.be/5d2V1LYNBeE .This is my all-time favorite video that I use when teaching young entrepreneurs. It was created by Umpqua Bank as a marketing video but includes so many lessons for teaching young entrepreneurs. It works great to use at the beginning of running a team lemonade stand. It’s great to use for a discussion of a business model, how to get money, how to plan and what can happens when things don’t go as planned.
  5. The Home Run from Liberty Mutual (the responsibility project) https://youtu.be/C-3QCgVDQGw . This is a true story of a girl’s baseball team and what happens with the team to win the game. It is a great example of ethics and sportsmanship and works well to start a discussion on business ethics and rules.
  6. BONUS: Life After Death by Powerpoint 2012 by Don McMillan https://youtu.be/MjcO2ExtHso. This is a humorous video is a great example of what not to do in Powerpoint.  If the kids are going to do a presentation this will start a discussion on what you should do. The reason this is not in my top 5 is that it does include the word “hell” and it might not be appropriate for younger kids.

Now it’s your turn – I would love to hear what your favorite videos for teaching young entrepreneurs!  Please share and comment below. 

For more resources on teaching young entrepreneurs visit eseedling.com

Lemonade Stand a symbol of youth entrepreneurship!

LemonHeadsLemonadeStand

One of my favorite Lemonade Stand Posters from the youth entrepreneur camp.

I often get asked why you don’t use a more complicated business in your youth
entrepreneur camps. My response is usually something like: who doesn’t love to
visit a lemonade stand on a hot summer day. They usually shake their head in
agreement and then go on with their day. But if you stop to think about it, the
lemonade stand is an icon for youth entrepreneurship. Many successful
entrepreneurs started out when they were a kid. It might not have been a
lemonade stand (although I bet many did try one at one time), it may have been
a lawn care, pet care, paper route, or babysitting business. The answer I give
really relates to knowing that it’s almost a guarantee that on a hot summer day
there will be thirsty customers ready to buy some lemonade which is the first
step to any successful business (create a product that you know your customers
want)! A lemonade stand is familiar – everyone knows what it is and so the
campers don’t have to learn about what the product is they can then focus on
creating a brand, picking their product (what flavor, etc.), pricing their
product, marketing their product, selling their product, recording their sales
and giving the customer a great experience. These are things that every
business has to do so they are learning the basics of business and they do it
as a team. The fact that they are raising money for the youth entrepreneur camp
scholarship fund teaches them that they can make a difference by helping
someone who can’t afford to attend the entrepreneur camp to have the ability to
attend. The team competition makes it that much more fun for the kids as they
not only compete for the most sales but also for best customer service, best
tasting, best team work and best display. The kids are extremely clever with
their branding, marketing and delivery systems – you would be amazed if you
came to lemonade day at the camp. Since they have been learning about creating
their own business and running a business simulation earlier in the youth
entrepreneur camp – the lemonade stand gives them the real world experience to
bring it all together! It is so much fun for the kids they don’t even realize
how much they have learned until we get back and debrief! No wonder that is the
favorite activity of the campers year after year. Wouldn’t it be fun to have an
adult lemonade stand competition and even an adult entrepreneur camp for that
matter :)!