Summer is one of the best times for motivated students to explore their academic interests and gain valuable professional skills.
For students interested in business, attending a summer business program is an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of economics and finance, develop an entrepreneurial mindset, and start your own successful business.
Each pre-college program has its own curriculum and schedule, so finding the right one can be challenging.
This list of business summer camps can help your child gain entrepreneurship skills and motivate them to start their own company one day.
1. Camp BizSmart
Founded by husband and wife team Mike and Peggy Gibbs, Camp BizSmart provides in-person and virtual business camps for adolescents between the ages of 11-16.
Camp BizSmart, the company’s namesake, is a 10-day in-person experience. While at camp, kids work in teams to complete an innovation challenge from an up-and-coming Silicon Valley company.
This involves assuming company leadership roles, writing a business plan, and working with a designer to create a visual representation of their product.
At the end of camp, students get a chance to present their projects to venture capitalists and angel investors at Microsoft.
Additional camps include Innovate This!, a two-day invention convention, and BizChallenge, a six-day virtual camp allowing you to develop, refine, and present a product idea.
LaunchX teaches students how to build a business and grow their entrepreneurship skills within just a few weeks. They offer in-person and online entrepreneurship summer programs for high school students ages 15-18.
You can sign up for their online entrepreneurship course that lasts 5 weeks or their 4-week in-person summer camp in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Each camp involves working with a team to come up with an idea, honing in on the audience, iterating through it to come up with a great product, and finally implementing the solution.
Throughout the journey, students are mentored by industry experts who help lead the way toward creating a successful company.
LaunchX programs teach participants the skills necessary to build a start-up and connects them with other ambitious peers in a tight-knit community.
To apply, you just need to submit an application with answers to their questions and a short video about yourself.
3. Summer Discovery
Summer Discovery’s business and entrepreneurship programs expose high school students to the ins and outs of the business world.
During these two- and three-week summer camps, you learn everything from business basics to how to create a successful marketing strategy.
Their three main business summer programs are Inc. Young Entrepreneurs, Career Accelerators, and Summer Discovery at UCLA.
The Inc. program is career-focused and trains students to become entrepreneurs by teaching them about research, marketing, raising funds, and giving demonstrations.
Career Accelerators is a mix of educational content and career exploration designed to turn today’s high school students into future entrepreneurs and leaders. This is done through a combination of classroom activities and real-world challenges.
Summer Discovery at UCLA Anderson Business lets students explore campus life while completing intensive business classes in media, digital marketing, and more.
4. Berkeley Business Academy for Youth
Berkeley’s high school entrepreneurship camp welcomes students from around the world to its Bay Area campus for a two-week business summer program each year.
B-BAY is all about bringing together innovative ideas and sound business sense. To that end, campers team up to brainstorm a business idea, complete a business plan, and present their idea.
When they’re not hard at work on their projects, students attend lectures by Berkeley professors and corporate executives and discover what daily campus life is all about.
By the end of camp, high school students will have strengthened their business skills, but more than that they gain invaluable soft skills like teamwork, networking, and public speaking.
5. Drexel University Camp Business
Sponsored by Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business, Camp Business is a business summer camp for upperclassmen high school students.
As a university program, it exposes students to topics they’ll encounter in college while also giving them real-world business lessons.
Participants learn about business topics like marketing, finance, and management, as well as helpful technology tools and the stock market. In addition, they gain insight into corporate etiquette, team building, and cultivating a professional appearance.
This one-week camp at Drexel University offers two sessions: a commuter session and a residential session, during which students stay overnight in a campus dorm.
6. Babson Summer Study
Since its 1919 establishment as a private business college, Babson has been a leader in entrepreneurship education.
Each summer, Babson invites rising high school juniors and seniors to get a taste of what that’s all about with its three-week intensive online entrepreneurial program. The program is a mix of live sessions and asynchronous work sessions with mentorship.
Using the United Nation’s Global Goals and Babson’s Entrepreneurial Thought & Action methodology, participants learn the skills and mindset to become global leaders.
Throughout the online business camp, students are guided by Babson faculty and alumni as they complete their social impact project.
After completing the program, students earn four college credits from Babson. But more than that, gain hands-on experience that can be applied to future business or government positions. Plus, it can be something notable to mention during the college admissions process.
7. BETA Camp
Over the course of one month, BETA Camp invites students ages 13-18 to participate in its online Entrepreneurship Bootcamp that lasts 4 weeks.
It consists of 60+ hours of interactive workshops, lecture content, and even 1:1 startup mentorship. The business course teaches students about business, technology, and the entrepreneurial mindset. Using these tools, teens create their own profitable startup by the end of camp.
Participants also learn real-world skills like negotiation, problem-solving, and fiscal management, all of which are invaluable, regardless of which path they follow. It’s a place to learn real-world skills outside of a classroom setting.
You can also network with like-minded peers who can help access internships, find partnerships, and raise money for future business projects.
Leangap gives teenagers the skills and opportunity to build startups before ever stepping foot on a college campus.
It delivers on this promise by taking participants through the real stages of a startup launch: validation, creation, traction, and pitching. Two sessions are available, with one online and the other in person, in San Francisco, California.
The online business program lasts three hours daily for four weeks, plus two weeks of prep work beforehand. Additional coursework is completed on the student’s schedule. The in-person session also lasts four weeks and gives students a preview of college life.
Additional benefits for attending include a free website builder, a free domain name, and help to complete any paperwork to start a business. It’s the closest thing you can get to starting a real business with personalized help.
9. National Student Leadership Conference
The National Student Leadership Conference’s Business & Entrepreneurship program invites high school students to spend nine days learning everything about business topics.
During the summer program, you pitch a product idea to a jury of investors and develop a marketing plan.
In addition, attend college-level lectures about economics, accounting, and business ethics. Gaining soft skills like conflict resolution, negotiation, and managing people is an essential part of the process.
Successful participants can gain college credit from American University by completing additional online coursework in conjunction with the in-person sessions. You’ll also develop leadership skills throughout the program.
You can choose from one of four locations, including Duke University, Northwestern University, University of California at Berkeley, and Yale. Each location provides unique sightseeing opportunities and educational trips. Check out our other guide on leadership camps.
10. The Michigan Ross Summer Business Academy
Open to rising high school seniors, the Michigan Ross Summer Business Academy offers students classes on all about the world of business. It’s an overnight business program that takes place at the University of Michigan.
To that end, this two-week program invites you to attend lectures by Ross faculty and industry experts, participate in group projects, and present your business idea to real-world business leaders.
Not only does this experience give students exposure to the business world, but it can also help them decide on a college major or career path.
It also gives children the opportunity to experience college life by living in a dorm, eating in a dining hall, and interacting with other motivated students. Field trips and recreational activities are also built into the daily schedule. Scholarships are available if you meet the requirements.