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MU Home » Academics » Reeves School of Business » Center for Entrepreneurship

Boot Camp for Budding Entrepreneurs

While we are proud of all our large programs, one of our most cherished programs is the Boot Camp for Budding Entrepreneurs. These five-day summer camps are open to high school students between the ages of 16 to 18. Enrolled students are exposed to all aspects of entrepreneurship. With several guest speakers daily, and field trips to area business every afternoon, students are immersed in the culture and reality of entrepreneurship. It is an invaluable experience. At the end of the camp, students present a business plan and compete to win a cash prize. Beginning with Cumberland County, the program has expanded to now include camps in Hoke, Bladen, Harnett, and Moore Counties.

Student Application Form (PDF)
Student Nomination Form (PDF)

What Is Boot Camp for Budding Entrepreneurs?

Boot Camp for Budding Entrepreneurs is a summer program sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurship at Methodist University designed to provide selected high school students with the opportunity to learn entrepreneurship firsthand from the region's business leaders and successful entrepreneurs.

Who should attend?

The boot camp is open to gifted and talented high school students, 16-to-18 years old, with an interest in business.

Where does it take place?

The Boot Camp for Budding Entrepreneurs program in Cumberland County takes place at Methodist University. Other programs are in Bladen, Hoke, Harnett, and Moore counties (contact the Center for Entrepreneurship for those locations).

How does Boot Camp for Budding Entrepreneurs operate?

Each day runs from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The morning session consists of a presentation on business fundamentals by someone from the local business community. Topics of speakers include: leadership; state of the economy; development of goals; process of disruption leading to innovation; overview of banking services; developing a business plan; globalization and its implications for Cumberland County ("Is the world flat?" -- discussion of Thomas Friedman book); discovering your niche (case study of Google, Inc.); history of business (steam engine to search engine); and management and marketing. During lunch, selected business owners give detailed accounts of the startup and growth of their companies and of their challenges along the way. In the afternoons, students visit various enterprises to see how they operate. The students also are taught to develop a sustainable business plan, which at week's end is presented to a group of entrepreneurs for a chance to win $300 for the best plan. Parents and their guests are invited to this last session.

What do student participants gain by attending the boot camp?

Students learn firsthand how successful business enterprises run. They are taught fundamentals of business. They are given the opportunity to hear directly from business entrepreneurs how their companies developed – from planning, to startup, through challenges, to present operation. Students learn how to create a workable business plan. With this experience and their newly acquired skills, students leave the boot camp inspired, confident, and armed with an understanding of the business world that will better prepare them to create successful business opportunities for themselves in the future.

A Certificate of Achievement is issued at the end of the program.

What have previous boot camp attendees said they have learned?

Here are some of their replies:

"If you dream it, you can achieve it."
"Perseverance is the key to success."
"Competition keeps entrepreneurs on their feet and seeking new ideas."
"Set high goals for yourself."
"Stay up on technology."
"Hard work is needed to make a business successful."
"Research the market you plan to enter."
"Always have a backup plan."
"Having good credit is very important in starting a business or getting a loan."

What is the cost of the program?

Tuition for Boot Camp for Budding Entrepreneurs is $500. For those with financial need, there are scholarships available.

How does one find out more about Boot Camp for Budding Entrepreneurs and enroll in the program?

Contact the Center by telephone at (910) 630-7642; or by e-mail at .