4-H camp to spark youthful entrepreneurial spirit

For youth interested in owning their own business one day, a weekend camp may be just the inspiration they need to develop a startup mindset.

“Young entrepreneurs are often told they’re too young, or they don’t know what they’re talking about,” said Julianne Dunn, extension instructor-economic development for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “We’re here to teach them those skills they may not be able to get elsewhere and show the basics in a way they can understand.

“Whether they have a lemonade stand or a fashion line, this camp will guide attendees into becoming successful and responsible business owners, regardless of age or experience,” she said. “It’s more than just having a great product—entrepreneurs need to know how to run the business.” 

Arkansas 4-H will host the weekend entrepreneurship camp Feb. 28 to March 1 at the C.A. Vines Arkansas 4-H Center in Ferndale to teach youth ages 9 to 19 how to build and run a business.

The camp begins at 7 p.m. on Feb. 28, and ends at 1 p.m. March 1. The cost is $175 per person and includes supplies, lodging, meals and t-shirt. Online registration is available at http://bit.ly/4Hecamp. The deadline is Feb. 3.

Cooperative Extension Service faculty with expertise in financial management will introduce camp participants to the practice of entrepreneurship and business ownership, balancing budgets, gathering necessary supplies and team members, and connecting with customers. 

Participants also will hear from entrepreneurs of all ages about their experiences and have an opportunity to share their business ideas with entrepreneurship professionals. 

“We will have people there who will listen to these youth and give them feedback to encourage their ideas and energy,” she said.

Participants will be divided into groups for all activities based on age and experience. No prior entrepreneurship knowledge is required.

The Entrepreneur Camp was first offered in 2008, having grown out of a 2007 grant from Bank of America for workforce skills training.

It’s not all business. Campers will also enjoy campfires, skits and canoeing, weather permitting. For more information, contact Julianne Dunn at 501-671-2158 or [email protected].

To learn more about 4-H, contact your county extension office or visit the 4-H website.