About 45 high school students from throughout West Michigan will spend a week at Grand Valley State University. They’ll be immersed in the world of entrepreneurship and will learn about creating a start-up company. The Teen Entrepreneur Summer Academy is in its 11th year and this year they’ve even got evidence of the camp’s success.
“We had a lot of success with the program and see impact it’s having on their education, careers and that’s why we keep trying to grow it and allow more kids to participate.”
Shorouq Almallah is the Director for the Richard and Helen Devos Center For Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Grand Valley State University. She says she’s excited about the success of GVSU’s Teen Entrepreneur Camp or TESA. They’ve got about 45 high school students, ages 14 to 19 from 21 schools across West Michigan.
“The goal is to give them an immersive experience in entrepreneurship, to help them learn about problem solving, teamwork and turning an idea into a business.”
Shorouq says the academy, which is sponsored by Amway, with its employees helping mentor and coach the students, is competitive. She says its “real world” based and the students really have to put their best foot forward. Lots of team building and a lot of work.
“So this year they’re doing, urban development and revitalization. So we’ll go through different exercises to help them come up with a new idea for new product or service.”
Some of the best news about the camp is that it’s now a proven success. Shorouq says they’ve been able to compile data from previous camps from 2009 to 2015.
“We discovered that 13 percent of them have started a business, 42 percent are employed and have a career and 54 percent are currently pursuing a higher education degree. These are great numbers, great success.
On June 23rd, students make their actual pitch to a panel of local business professionals. If the pitch is good, they could walk away with up to five thousand dollars in cash prizes.