News Flash

Economic Development

Posted on: June 5, 2018

Yes, students can be entrepreneurs, too

Grand County's Office of Economic Development is working hard on the concept of "growing our own" in an effort to help with Grand County's job market where employers are having to scramble to fill job openings.

And right along those lines, the initial focus on students in our schools as a prime source to help fill some of those openings.

We all know that running a business is not child's play, but the idea of capitalizing on our own homegrown talent is the focus of an exciting three-day camp known as the Entrepreneurship Investigation (ESI) Camp from June 11 to 13 at Snow Mountain Ranch.

Sponsored by the Grand County Economic Development Department (GCED) in partnership with Scott Springston and the Grand County Higher Education Initiative with funding from a Daniels Fund grant, ESI offers students an opportunity to develop their leadership, communication and entrepreneurial skills. The camp is open to any student who lives in Grand County and is entering grades 7 through 10 in the fall.

"It is our goal to inspire youth to use their talents and passions to create innovative, sustainable businesses while establishing meaningful connections with community business leaders," said DiAnn Butler, Director of the GCED, and sponsor of the camp.

This camp plans to emphasize experiential learning.

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., everyday, the camp exposes participants to entrepreneurship through an innovative experiential learning curriculum taught by Craig Schroeder with the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship and local entrepreneurs.

Students will begin by identifying their entrepreneurial strengths and interests, connect with local businesses, and explore topics such as product promotion, profit and loss statements, and long-term financial sustainability. As a research-based curriculum, the ideas of the camp have been used at 4-H clubs, middle schools, youth organizations and community institutions around the country.

If possible, students should register by June 6.

This year, students interested in participating in the camp must submit a 2-minute video or a one-page essay that explores a student-business idea. There are only a few spots available for the camp, and only the best submissions will be selected.

Submissions will be used to identify local business partners, and tailor the curriculum to meet student interests.

Videos and essays will be evaluated according to their creativity, the value of the business idea, and student excitement. There will be a $75 fee that will help cover the food, transportation, and materials needed for the camp.

After completing all levels of the curriculum, youth will have the skills and tools to start their own business, as well as a completed business plan that will serve as a "road map" to the entrepreneur's success.

Best of all, participants will learn that they can become a member of the Grand County business community without having to move to a large urban center.

The ESI curriculum is a bridge for young people that will excite their business acumen and allow them to become a Grand entrepreneur.

The deadline for submissions is June 6, 2018. Students can submit their materials online at https://co.grand.co.us/856/Economic-Development.

For more information contact DiAnn Butler at 970-531-1343 or dbutler@co.grand.co.us.

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