Opportunities for youth entrepreneurs in Wisconsin

youth entrepreneurship

When it comes to innovation, Wisconsin’s children are among the top.

Madison and Milwaukee rank 2nd and 9th, respectively, among U.S. cities with the highest rates of children inventors, according to a study released in December, “Who Becomes an Inventor in America? The Importance of Exposure to Innovation.”

“(E)xposure to innovation during childhood has significant causal effects on children’s propensities to become inventors,” according to the study.

Want to raise an innovative, inventive child? These youth entrepreneurship programs and camps might be a good start.


Teen Pitch & Launch: Hear aspiring teen entrepreneurs pitch, launch and test their business ideas “created to earn revenue and create social good.” 1-2 p.m. May 20 at Madison College Truax Field in Madison. Sponsored by CEOs of Tomorrow. Tickets are $5.

The Verona & Madison Children’s Business Fair: The details of this year’s event haven’t been announced. But organizers say it is happening. This is the local version of Acton Children’s Business Fair. “Kids develop a brand, create a product or service, build a marketing strategy, and then open for customers at our one-day marketplace.”


UW-Madison School of Business Youth Entrepreneurship Camp: Participants learn how to understand and start a business, make and invest money. Participants must have completed 6th, 7th or 8th grade. June 11-15. $349.

Camp Invention: These camps offer “fun, hands-on challenges that encourage creative problem solving, teamwork, entrepreneurship and innovation.” For kids entering K-6th grades.  Additional STEM programs for preschool through 12th grade available. Several area schools are offering Camp Invention programs throughout the summer.

e-Seedling Youth Entrepreneur Program: Created for ages 10-13, the e-Seedling summer day camp offers two levels. Level 1 (June 18-20) focuses on creating a business, basic business skills, field trips, games and running a Lemonade Stand Business. Level 2 (June 21-22) explores more in-depth business concepts, including the Business Model Canvas, marketing and finance. Southeast side of Madison. $129-$199 with an Early Bird discount by April 30.


CEOs of Tomorrow: This organization offers social entrepreneurship education workshops and courses. Emphasis is on critical thinking, leadership, self-responsibility, confidence and problem-solving skills. Summer boot camp for grades 4-8; and a business course, internship and incubator for high-schoolers.

Department of Public Instruction’s Young Entrepreneurship program: This program recognizes a student in 5th through 12th grade “who is making their mark on our free enterprise system by turning a business idea into a reality; an individual who applied th entrepreneurial spirit and demonstrated business knowledge to realize an actual operating business.” The winner receives $1,000 cash prize or scholarship. The 2018 competition just concluded, but this is an annual event.

The Governor’s Yes Campaign: This competition encourages students to envision careers in science and technology, especially as related to creation and growth of businesses. For middle- and high-school students. Entries for the 2018 competition were due earlier in April, but this is an annual competition.


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