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Entrepreneurship summer camp opportunity open to New Mexico communities

Camp Innoventure, a week-long summer camp focused on inspiring middle school students to create, market and sell their own products, is now scheduling sessions for summer 2019. The camp, part of the Innoventure suite of entrepreneurship education programs offered by Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University, is available to communities throughout New Mexico through support from the Colorado-based Daniels Fund and Wells Fargo.



Camp Innoventure participants in Santa Fe work on their products, preparing to sell them at the Santa Fe Flea Market at the Jackalope. Santa Fe’s camp session was generously hosted by Meow Wolf, which provided space in the David Loughridge Learning Center all week and tickets for campers to enjoy Meow Wolf’s unique immersive art experience. (NMSU Photo)

Persephone Saavedra and Jacob Arras show off the handcrafted fans they created for their business, “FanCraft,” with partner Brandon Frick. The students participated in Camp Innoventure at William D. Slider Middle School and successfully sold their products at the local flea market. (NMSU Photo)

Each Camp Innoventure session runs about three hours per day. Campers in grades 6-8 spend the first five days learning about starting a business and creating their products, then sell what they’ve made at a local farmers or crafts market in their community. The students receive $25 seed money for supplies and get to keep any profits they make from their business venture.

“Our Camp Innoventure participants get the whole experience, from coming up with their own ideas for a product that interests them all the way through completing a transaction with their customer,” said Innoventure Deputy Director Lydia Hammond, who oversees the Camp Innoventure program. “The students are empowered to take ownership of their ideas, and it’s always inspiring to see what they come up with.”

Camp Innoventure is currently accepting inquiries from communities across the state who are interested in bringing the camp to their area. The program provides workbooks and other learning materials, along with a training guide and stipend for a local teacher or businessperson who serves as the camp’s leader. Hammond works with those local leaders to help coordinate a location for the camp session and space at a market in the area.

Registration for Camp Innoventure is $40 per student, and a limited number of scholarships are available for interested families who qualify. Sponsorship opportunities are also available for businesses who want to support youth entrepreneurship in their community.

For more information about setting up a Camp Innoventure session in your community, contact Hammond at lh@nmsu.edu. More information about Camp Innoventure is available at http://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/camp-innoventure. Details about camp sessions for Summer 2019 will also be available on the site when they become available.

For video of Camp Innoventure participants in action, visit https://youtu.be/ONDcXotS_YE.