Enterprising Teens Launched Startup in Under a Week With Business Leadership Camp

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Enterprising teens with tasked with the challenge of launching a startup in under a week with a very small budget at a Business Leadership Camp. Among the ten-member team of summer campers was her 16-year-old Kaylah Clark.

The youths developed an apparel company began to run a profit early during the five-day Free Enterprise Leadership Challenge at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Known as the One of a Kind Stylecation, they earned $86. Miami Northwestern Senior High School senior Kaylah Clark served as president of the company that transformed a humdrum t-shirt business into an enterprise that sold tie-dyed creations. The students launched their own advertising campaigns and they created a commercial, which showed campers and celebrities wearing their fabulous tie-dyed attire.

Bandanas were sold for just $3, shirts for $6, and both sold for $8 to fellow FELC participants. Patrons bought items for themselves and their family members.

Another team of students sold concessions, while another sold tickets to evening entertainment events. The transactions involved real company money, encouraging students to take on real responsibility. This summer challenge marked the fourth year where the challenge was held at Palm Beach Atlantic University, an institution that seeks to exercise and uphold principle around the enterprise. The FELC program is one developed by the non-profit organization Jesse Helms Center, and they hold a five-day program at four other universities during the summer months.

Teams were allowed to keep profits at the end of the week, though most opted to donate earnings to micro-finance website kiva.org or to a scholarship fund established in honor of Reagan Hartley, an FELC counselor who tragically died at the age of 22. Student teams also invested $1 million in a virtual stock market, and the top-performing company in the virtual competition received a $20 infusion into the company’s profits.

Additionally, students composed fictional business plans to sell a product. More than 30 high school students participated in this year’s PBA challenge, with students coming from Florida and Illinois. While students expected the program to be more lecture-based, the hands-on activities proved to be more challenging and more enriching.