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Next Crop of Entrepreneurs Find Sweet Spot in Valley Junction: Watch Video

West Des Moines students Justin Toth, Isabella Nader, and Aiden Feldman talked about entrepreneur camp after hearing from Green Grounds Cafe owner Isa O'Hara and Historic Valley Junction Foundation Director Jim Miller.

Some future bosses learned some of the tricks to successful small business startups from some current bosses in Valley Junction Monday.

Fifth- and sixth-graders stopped by several Valley Junction businesses as part of “Be the Boss,” a youth entrepreneurship camp sponsored by the Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship, the University of Iowa, and West Des Moines Community Education.

Patch caught up with the eager entrepreneurs-to-be at Green Grounds Cafe, where owner Isa O’Hara told them what it takes to run a small business and about the importance of developing a variety of revenue streams. Selling coffee alone, she said, wouldn’t keep her business afloat.

Before stopping by Green Grounds, the students stopped by Engler Embroidery, Historic Valley Junction Foundation, the Theatrical Shop, and Nan’s Nummies.

The camp continues through Friday at Western Hills Elementary. In addition to visits to local businesses, students will experience hands-on entrepreneurship through a variety of highly interactive classroom activities and guest speakers, who will offer tips on making money by doing something they love. Some of the other activities include developing and implementing a business plan, meeting and learning from successful entrepreneurs, and designing business card and flyers.

Some other things they will learn about are giving a good handshake, networking, what an entrepreneur is, inventions, financial information, and how to dress for success.

On Thursday, students will tour US Bank and Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt.

On Friday, students will present their business plans at a formal graduation ceremony and reception from 3:15-4 p.m.


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