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Youth Learn Entrepreneurship with Ice Cream

There will be a lot of either "yum" or "that is SO gross" when the University of Iowa's Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship holds its annual Youth Entrepreneur Camp next week.

The camp will be held July 9-13 in the Pappajohn Business Building at UI. The annual camp introduces children in grades four through six to the basics of starting and developing a business, answering such questions as what kind of business to start and where the money to start it comes from. Campers brainstorm new business ideas and learn how to build their business through classroom exercises, field trips and guest speakers.

This year, 46 students from the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids area have signed up for the camp. Among the speakers for the week will be Iowa City ice cream maker Paul Heyn, who will meet with campers on July 10 to discuss running his ice cream shop and the importance of customer service. As part of his session, he will work with campers to develop a new ice cream flavor, then return to his shop to make a tub of it.

He'll return on July 12 with the new flavor to see if the campers like what they've wrought.

"Paul has done this several times in the past and most of the time the kids have liked the flavors they've developed," said Dawn Bowlus, Jacobson Institute director for the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. "One year, it turned out so well that Paul carried the flavor for the summer. Other years though, it hasn't turned out so well, so we often order some extra vanilla to make sundaes, just in case."

Also on the week's agenda will be a visit to several downtown Iowa City businesses on July 9. Campers will meet with the owners for a tour of the store and learn what it takes to run a business. The students will visit The Fun Zone, Discerning Eye, and Capanna Coffee between 10:30 a.m. and noon on Monday.


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