You may have noticed some young people at The Forks over the past few weeks, selling products they designed and developed. They’ve been learning how to do business as part of the Curry BizCamp at the University of Manitoba.
“They are very enthusiastic,” says Rob Warren, I.H. Asper Executive Director for Entrepreneurship, which runs the program in the Asper School of Business. “The students have been learning everything from how to take products and add value to make them attractive to consumers, to how to make sales pitches.”
Now in its 10th year, the Curry BizCamp is sponsored by the Peter D. Curry Foundation with no cost to the students. All participants get classroom work, listen to guest speakers, go on field trips, engage in team building and present their business plans in addition to marketing their products. They also learn the art of negotiation through bargaining with one another to get the best deal.
The students range in age from 12 to 18, and are enrolled in either the one-week camp for younger students or a full three-week business learning experience. A percentage of the money made by the students during the sales exercise will go to charities across the city chosen by the students themselves.
This year, guest speakers at the BizCamp included Earl Barish, president and CEO of Salisbury House and Howard Raber, vice- president of Raber Glove Mfg. Co. Ltd. of Winnipeg which makes gloves for police and firefighters.
The keynote speaker this year was new president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manitoba, Dr. David Barnard, in his first official public function as president.