Utah County may get a sneak peak at its future business leaders through a new program being created by the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce.
In association with Utah Valley University and the Utah County Academy of Sciences, the chamber announced last Monday that it is sponsoring the creation of a Young Entrepreneurs Academy for Utah County students in grades six through 12.
“We really think that this is a great way for the rising generation of business leaders to get a jump start on their careers,” Donna Milakovic, executive vice president of the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce, said. “Programs such as this help students sharpen their entrepreneurial spirits by teaching them what they need to know to take their ideas from concept to real businesses.”
The program will select 24 students who will then enroll in an October-May course that will teach them how to successfully operate a business. It is expected by the end of the class the students will be able to own and operate a fully functioning businesses that can be carried on after they graduate from the course.
“It ranges as far as your imagination can stretch,” said Milakovic about the types of businesses the students can choose to run.
Milakovic said programs in other states have ranged from candy selling to mobile app designing. The students can team up if they see an idea they like or if they see skill sets in one another that make sense for the students to team up together.
Classes will be held on Thursday nights at UVU. Cameron Martin, vice president of university relations, said the school was excited to participate in the program as it will help capture the innovation, energy and creativity of the valley’s young minds. He noted that the earlier that creativity can be captured in a young person the more successful business practices the students will have in the future.
“I’m really excited about this,” Martin said.
The Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce is accepting applications for the program. The program will include the opportunity for students to work closely with local business leaders in developing their business ideas, write a business plan, pitch their plan to a panel of investors — Milakovic said this would be similar to the “Shark Tank” TV show — obtain funding, develop their brand, participate in a trade show and launch their enterprise.
Those interested in applying should contact the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce at www.thechamber.org.
To learn more about applying, visit here.