Kristin Nichols, Deseret Morning News
High school students at an entrepreneur day camp at UVSC brainstorm ways to create their own businesses. The camp was titled "Be Your Own Boss."

OREM — One of the first things many high school students want to do when summer comes is find a summer job.

But students who create their own businesses have a good chance to pocket more money than those who work for someone else, said Utah Valley State College business management professor Peter Robinson.

Teens can expect to make $6-$8 an hour working for someone else, but if they create their own business the possibilities are more in the $20-$40 per hour range, he said. For the fourth year Robinson recently led high school students through a weeklong entrepreneur day camp, "Be Your Own Boss."

Twenty-two students signed up the summer workshop. Most are from Utah Valley, but students also came from outside Utah County, one as far away as Logan.

"We teach them how to come up with ideas," Robinson said.

The course consists of identifying opportunities, evaluating them and executing the ideas. They explore technical, market possibilities and the financial and human resource aspects of owning a business.

The students work in groups, and some plan to put their businesses to the test this summer. The experience is more hands-on than classroom experiences allow, said Springville High student Chris Talbot.

Robinson brings in successful local business people to lecture and mentor the students, who then write business plans and evaluate whether their ideas will work. Based on participation, they earn "entrebucks," which they can spend at the end of the camp on $3,000 worth of prizes donated by businesses.

The student who earns the most "entrebucks" gets a full-year tuition scholarship to UVSC.

Talbot and his team, consisting of Garret Shoop, Phillip Montague and Austin Allred, designed a business to offer carwashes as an employee perk to businesses. They came up with a variety of services ranging in price and planned to wash the cars in the company parking lot.

Orem High student Zachary Pope and his team created a business plan to assist musicians to take the next step in their career via the Internet. The Web site would allow producers to review musicians from a single source. The camp has helped Pope and his team make connections that could make the business possible, he said. Believing it can work is the first step, he said.

"This is real. It's something you can get your hands on," he said.

Learning the basics was important to Orem High student Jessica Miller, a member of Pope's group.

"The basics add up to something amazing," she said.

Interested in marketing, she said the lectures on door-to-door selling techniques were interesting and made her more aware of the skills salespeople use.

Among the business people who spoke to the students were Katie Maloney of Costume Craze in Lindon, the second largest costume creator in the country; advertising and promotion expert Mark Stoddard; small-business consultant David Crenshaw; marketing expert Brian Pope; and Springville toy store owner Jimmy Morrison.


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