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Archive for Wednesday, July 24, 1996

CAMPERS PREPARE FOR REAL WORLD

July 24, 1996

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High school students take time out of their busy summer fun to to learn about owning their own company someday.

Jesse Santaularia, 16, has a great idea for a new business, but there are still some details about owning his own company that bother him.

"I'm not sure I like all the cash flow analysis stuff," the soon-to-be senior at Lawrence High School said.

Amy Bartels, 18, agreed.

"I'd have to hire an accountant to take over that part of the business," she said.

The two Lawrence High students are part of a group of 13 students learning the ins and outs of being a business owner at Camp Enterprise, a summer camp for young entrepreneurs taking place this week at Kansas University. The camp is run by Mike O'Donnell, former director of the KU Small Business Development Center.

Campers are required to come up with their own business idea during the week and develop a business plan. Students are asked to analyze competition, find a target market, project cash flow and start-up costs and develop a budget.

In between instructional seminars, such as "choosing an appropriate legal structure" and "franchising", students visit Lawrence companies to learn firsthand from professionals what it takes to start a business. O'Donnell said he selected both businesses in the early stages of operation and longstanding shops to give a wide perspective.

Benjamin Borgers, 16, an LHS junior, attended camp because he couldn't fit any business classes into his schedule this fall at the high school.

"I wanted to see if I'm interested in majoring in business. I think I'd kind of like to own my own business," Borgers said.

Borgers said he'd like to start a back-country fishing, rock climbing and off-roading service-oriented business, with guides to take customers through the outdoor activities.

Santaularia is more interested in retail. He said he has an idea for a successful sporting goods shop that would include a full basketball court inside the store.

Bartels, who has learned about operating her own business from her father, Allen Bartels, owner of REMS, an environmental company in Lawrence, hopes to open a unique bookstore.

"Because everything is so expensive in college, I would open a low-price bookstore and college supplies for students," she said.

Group members are required to give a final presentation on their ideas in front of their mates on Friday before the graduation ceremony.

All of the campers, with the exception of one from Dallas, are from Kansas. This is the second year for the camp.

"It may be that these kids go to college, graduate, work for a company for three to 10 to 12 years before even thinking about opening a business," O'Donnell said. "But we've given them some ideas to think about and some good resources for opening a business."

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