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sheville-area young entrepreneurs polish skills at camp at A-B Tech

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6/8/2011 - Asheville-area young entrepreneurs polish skills at camp at A-B Tech
by Dale Neal - Asheville Citizen Times

THE EARLIER YOU START THE ATTITUDE OF SUCCESS, the better!  Asheville-Buncombe Technical College (AB TECH) makes sure young people have opportunities to nurture their business ideas from an early age with camps and classes, guidance and instruction!  Business in Asheville and Western North Carolina can be personal and rewarding!!

              ENKA -- Area high school students with the ambition to become the next Bill Gates can learn how to build a business from scratch at the Young Entrepreneurial Scholars camp next week at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

For the past four summers, about 40 young people have attended the YES Camp, backed through the A-B Tech Foundation Lavender Fund, said Jill Sparks, director of the Small Business Center at the college's Enka campus. Next week, about 13 rising sophomores, juniors and seniors from Buncombe, Haywood, Madison and McDowell counties will get hands-on experience in what it takes to launch a real-world business.

These aren't your typical lemonade-stand schemes, said Christy Ramm, who leads the camps. Previous participants have come up with business schemes for a video gaming company, a natural soaps business, a clothing boutique, an event planner and even a nonprofit outreach program for after-school activities.

They start with an imaginary sum of $10,000, but they will have to meet with an Asheville Savings Bank loan officer and answer the questions any entrepreneur faces in financing a startup, Ramm said.

The youths will meet with bankers, accountants, human resources specialists and entrepreneurs working in the A-B Tech business incubator. With interactive exercises taken from the N.C. Rural Entrepreneurship through Active Learning curriculum, students will design business and marketing plans and create a video commercial and PowerPoint presentation touting their venture. The week ends with a competition as a panel of judges considers the best business plan.

"They're very business-savvy," Ramm said. "And I could see some of these businesses taking off in the real world."

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