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Music Lessons

How can this nonprofit rock camp for girls keep rolling? The experts compare notes.

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This story appears in the December 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Misty McElroy happened upon her business idea by accident--itstarted out as a school project but snowballed into a businessventure. Called The Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls, theannual event aims to teach music to girls in a fun way. To date,McElroy has found some success--this year's camp accepted 25more campers than the previous year. And with workshops led bystars such as Erykah Badu's drummer, Gaye Lynn McKinney, andpunk rock band Sleater-Kinney, demand is skyrocketing. The onlyreal snag in the plan is financing.

Because she charges just $50 per camper, McElroy's Rock'n' Roll Camp, which was formed as a nonprofit (501c-3)corporation, needs a steady stream of capital to keep running.Other issues: securing the right facility to host the yearly campand finding a way to start a new after-school program. SaysMcElroy, 33, "It is a logistical nightmare to come into aspace and make it work for us." The first camp was held atPortland State University in Oregon; the second took place in aPortland ballroom.

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