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Entrepreneurship Camp a Success in Ord

Seventeen Valley County youngsters took a crash course in building their own business during a three-day Entrepreneurship Discovery Camp in June.  The free event included lunch, snacks and educational materials, plus seed money to purchase supplies for new business ventures.  The camp was made possible in through a grant from the Valley County Community Foundation Fund – Youth Endowment. 

The ESI (Entrepreneurship Investigation) Camp is a way for the kids to explore their own personalities, talents and hobbies and learn how to turn those interests into a business idea.  Campers spent the first day finding out what it takes to move an idea into the development of a product or service.

On the second day, campers split into small groups and shopped locally for supplies they would need. Later they toured several local businesses to visit with real life entrepreneurs. These included the owners of AJ Cetak’s Meat Market, Stitches screening and embroidery shop, the Country Neighbor restaurant and Zangger’s Popcorn Farm.

Then it was back to business basics. The kids were introduced to the financials involved with running a business, expenses versus income, receipting and maintaining cash boxes. Each camper went home with the assignment of producing their own product for market.

On the final morning, the youngsters prepared business cards, brochures, flyers and price sheets.  They visited the Ord Chamber/Valley County Economic Development Office to learn about marketing strategies and being an active partner in the community.

In the afternoon, it was show time! 

“The highlight of week for campers was selling their new products at the market place on the court house lawn.  Participates enjoyed visiting with community members and promoting their unique creations.  Each camper made a profit and some even took orders to be filled over the summer!  The camp was a valuable experience for the county-wide community and strengthened partnerships among area entrepreneurs, support organizations, and youth!” said Dahn Hagge, Valley County Community Foundation Fund Director, who helped coordinate the ESI Discovery Camp with UNL Extension Educators, Kayla Hinrichs and Connie Hancock.

The camp was a huge success due to the support of countywide entities, including the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 4-H Youth Development, Valley County Community Foundation Fund-Geweke Youth Endowment, Ord Chamber of Commerce, Valley County Economic Development, Loup-Valley Ag Society, Ord Public Schools, local business owners, and area community members.   

ESI is an award-winning entrepreneurship curriculum developed in 2005 through a partnership with NCF’s HomeTown Competitiveness, the Nebraska Department of Education, UNL Extension and others, including Ord High School business teacher, Derry Trampe.  Presenters at the ESI camp included Derry Trampe, UNL Extension Educators, Kayla Hinrichs and Connie Hancock, and UNL Extension Program Coordinator Specialist, Nancy Eberle.

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