Linda Geist

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The seventh annual Build-a-Business camp, July 13-17, offers ideas to young people from some of the area’s newest entrepreneurs. The University of Missouri Extension 4-H Center for Youth Development sponsors the camp.

Build-a-Business is part of 4-H’s Summers @ Mizzou program, in which students ages 12-18 will visit the MU campus to explore science, art, veterinary medicine, technology, nature and business.

Build-a-Business coordinator and 4-H specialist Steve Henness said students can visit with MU faculty, Columbia-area entrepreneurs and business advisers. They are encouraged to start microbusinesses while in middle school or high school. They will be exposed to marketing and financial options, and learn customer service skills.

Speakers include marketing experts from Dual Cases LLC, a company that markets customized iPhone cases. Connor Walk and Taylor Jay pitched their business idea at the Missouri Tech Expo Elevator Pitch Competition, an event sponsored by CLIMB Mizzou, a student entrepreneurship club at MU.

The Stanton brothers of Centralia, Missouri, will make a return visit to the camp. Stanton Brothers Eggs is a family-owned operation that sells eggs from free-range chickens to retail outlets and through farmers markets throughout Missouri.

The students also will hear from representatives of Driver’s Foods and Products LLC. The Missouri business sells food products to retail and wholesale markets and has won awards for its barbecue sauces.

Other participants include Accounting Plus, Central Missouri Community Action, Commerce Bank, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the MU Office of Technology Management and Industry Relations, State Farm Insurance, MU Extension, Mid Missouri SCORE, MU Extension Community Economic and Entrepreneurial Development (ExCEED), Innovat’d and others.

The four-day camp ends with the Pitch Competition at MU’s Trulaske College of Business. CLIMB Mizzou sponsors the event. Campers pitch their idea for a business to a panel of judges, with awards given to winners to help them start their business.

2014 camp sponsors include Commerce Bank, Miller’s Professional Imaging/MPIX, MU Trulaske College of Business, MU ExCEED, CLIMB Mizzou, Regional Economic Development Inc., Orange Leaf Yogurt, the Missouri 4-H Foundation and the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

For more information about Build-a-Business camp, go to, or contact Steve Henness at or 573-884-6618.