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Kid Stuff

Want to light your child's entrepreneurial fire? Try a stint at a business camp.

The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in young people, says Alvin W. Rohrs, CEO and president of Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE), an entrepreneurial education organization. "Twenty years ago, there was the idea that entrepreneurs are born, not made," Rohrs says. "Now there's an understanding that people can learn to be entrepreneurs."

Today's entrepreneurial camps focus on hands-on training (creating actual businesses during the camp and meeting with real-life entrepreneurs). Check out your local college or SIFE (www.sife.org) chapter to find camps in your area, or consider these:

Camp $tartup: Held at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. Girls aged 14 to 19 write business plans and learn leadership and team building (www.independentmeans.com).

Excellence in Youth Entrepreneurs (E.Y.E.) Program: Held at the Entrepreneurial Institute at Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, Massachusetts. High school students start businesses while sharpening reading, writing and verbal business skills (www.eship.org).

Wise Kid, Wealthy Kid Youth Entrepreneurship Camp: Held at the California State University, Chico, campus. Fifth and sixth graders write business plans and receive $25 seed money, then set up shop at a carnival (www.csuchico.edu/sife).

Youth Entrepreneur Camp: Held at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Middle schoolers start a business, visit local businesses and get mentoring from local entrepreneurs (www.uwsbdc.org/specialYEC.htm).

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This article was originally published in the May 2003 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Kid Stuff.

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