Summer is a great time for kids to attend learning camps to keep their minds sharp and to identify new skills or areas they excel at. Entrepreneurship camps provide an excellent opportunity for elementary and middle school-age children with a foundation in skills such as problem-solving, creative solutions, financial literacy, customer service, business planning, public speaking, and so much more.
Shows like Shark Tank have given the public the gift of seeing how investors work with potential entrepreneurs and develop, research, design, market, and implement their ideas to get their products out into the open marketplace for sale.
What to Look for When Choosing an Entrepreneurship Camp for Kids
Entrepreneurs need to learn many skills to be successful in business, so cultivating that mindset is essential, first and foremost. When evaluating kids camps, look for camps that promote teamwork and mentorship because no business owner is an island unto themselves. You want a camp with passionate, skilled leaders who guide kids in nurturing their skills, talents, and interests.
This camp is aimed at girls ages 6-12, with locations in CA, NY, and Washington, DC. Girls learn how to choose an industry they’re passionate about, a viable product line within that industry, and then how to create a brand, develop marketing, and start making sales. Women entrepreneurs take on a mentorship role in this 7-day program, and campers have the opportunity to sell their products in a pop-up shop on campus and online on the BizzyGirls website. This gives girls the ability to interact with customers and test out their business ideas in a live marketplace which is a valuable asset to their learning experience.
Held in person in Northern CA, this camp targets kids ages 11-15 for ten days in June and July to teach kids to work in entrepreneurial teams mentored by industry business leaders to write business plans pitched to angel investors and venture capitalists. Product design and business planning skills allow kids to determine if their business idea is feasible and enduring in the business marketplace and then develop their business to solve real-life business and societal problems. There are scholarships available to cover 50-100% of the camp tuition.
A very affordable camp option held in Madison, WI, this is a 3-day camp that gives kids hands-on experience in the day-to-day business life of a startup company. Campers receive guidance on business plan writing, work on modeling their business idea, present their idea to the group, build a sales and marketing plan for their business, and then pitch their idea to compete for prizes. Mindset work during this camp is important to show what entrepreneurship is, and how to identify possible business ideas, branding, marketing, financial literacy, sales, and day-to-day business operations.
A 14-week camp for kids in K-8th grades provides support and mentorship from local entrepreneurs and community experts in a two-market approach to business aimed at exploring growth opportunities and developing an entrepreneurial mindset.
Held on sight at locations in VA, TX, and MD for girls ages 6-16, this camp program focuses on bringing out the CEO within every young girl to empower her and help her to be a strong leader. Specific skills learned are mindset/empowerment, financial literacy, and how to set goals. They believe strongly in preparing young women for the business world whether they choose to start their own business or work in corporate America.
There are many locations across the US, and this program works with girls ages 10-15 in a college-type atmosphere to teach STEM, social impact, and business to blend them in teams with industry mentors from top colleges and universities.
This virtual camp started by the ChooseFI community, an online financial community for adults who want to live frugally and retire early so they can pursue whatever life they choose rather than working 40+ years for an employer. I include information about ChooseFI so you can check it out and learn financial literacy skills for yourself and your journey! The camp is for kids ages 10-18 and can be self-guided or done with a group. Skills learned include creative thinking, problem-solving, financial literacy, effective communication, and the actual value of money in the global economy.
Held in Austin, TX for kids ages 8-18, this one-week business building boot camp teaches kids how to start a business and take it live, then keep the profits made from it during the boot camp. One major benefit is the ability to work with local business leaders on business pitches and then compete at the end of the camp to get live feedback!
Based in CO and intended for kids in grades 2-8 in school, this one-week entrepreneurial camp has different offerings depending on what your child is interested in learning. One camp is geared towards female leadership and running a business in a small town; another focuses on learning about foreign currency, business, and investing, whereas another works with kids to start a business in an accelerator fashion that starts real businesses in real life selling real products.
Junior Achievers offers many resources to teach kids about business, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, positive mindset, career planning, and so much more. BizTown is offered to kids in grades 4-6 in school and allows them to gain real-world experience in a simulated town with businesses to run, banks to operate, politicians to elect, and adult decisions to make. This experience can be learned from and used to develop decision-making skills.
A one-week camp held in Austin, TX for kids ages 8-18, this camp focuses on building a community of like-minded kids that are working on making the world a better place using supportive mentors to build skills like public speaking, personal responsibility, integrity, leadership, identifying opportunities, and how to invest profits wisely. The major benefit is that 15-20 kids of different ages are put into groups, so there are varying maturity levels and perspectives that can lead to compelling discussions.
Kids in grades 5-10 in school can attend in various locations in FL and work with students to work through the creative process of business idea evaluation and then business development through to the business pitching stage of business. Skills learned include value proposition identification, business storytelling that customers can get engaged with, business modeling, branding, pivoting your business based on market research and customer feedback, and how to conduct market research via surveys or online outreach.
The target group is kids ages 11-15 can attend a 2-week camp in WA state to learn about design theory, developing prototypes, market research, corporate finance, and business financial reporting or evaluation, pitching to investors, and business innovation like on the Shark Tank series. If your child has big dreams and wants to bring them to life, scholarships are available to make this program more accessible to everyone.
Aimed at kids ages 12-18, this program helps kids develop a real startup business, make money from their business, build valuable life skills, and get themselves ready to attend college after graduating high school. This program is held on campus or virtually and is not a simulated exercise. Kids are given a small stipend to start and grow their businesses ($200) to use to start their business idea or grow their existing business under the guidance of top industry tech experts from the local community.
This is an intense 2-week program for 12-14-year-old kids that are seeking to start their own business or work in corporate America by teaching them about marketing, economics, finance, investing, branding, business law, and leadership. They also allow them to compete in a business startup challenge at the end of the course that is taught by the current Director of the Center of Entrepreneurship and Economic Education at Hawaii Pacific University and has provided economic consulting services to big names in Finance and Economics such as Morgan Stanley and the World Economic Forum.
Kids need us to guide them on where they should go in their lives from Day 1 as parents, and they need our support as they pursue their dreams. Thankfully, entrepreneurship is becoming a more acceptable form of making money rather than the previously held standard of getting good grades in school, going to a good college, and then searching for a great-paying job. Summer camps provide a fun, interactive, and engaging way to learn and interact with like-minded kids and adults that can provide feedback on their business ideas and then help them bring those ideas to life.