LAUL Youth BizCamp Entrepreneurship Challenge Recap
Written by: Melanie Eke
We are proud to announce that the LAULYP Business Camp was a great success! Students from grades seven through twelve attended an intensive two-week day camp where they experienced the 9am-5pm work day while learning to master critical aspects of running a business, including: Managing profits, Planning for Losses, Researching Competition, and more. The students completed this process by actually launching their business ideas into reality, and presenting their strategically developed plans to the rest of their peers. The Urban League, in partnership with NFTE Greater Los Angeles, wrapped up the program by offering the students an opportunity to participate in a pitch contest with the potential to win startup funds up to $1,000!
We would like to congratulate all of the well-deserved Pitch Contest winners:
Audience Choice Fast Pitch Winner
Handmade eco-friendly hypo-allergenic earrings
First Place ($1,000)
App that connects basketball players so they can play in organized leagues/tournaments
Second Place ($750)
“InTheNow Supply Co.”
Backpack that provides cushioned straps and a laptop compartment at an affordable price
Third Place ($500)
“HeArt 2 HeArt”
Social enterprise where the purchase of a T-shirt helps to end hunger in South Sudan
We’d also like to spotlight two individuals who really stood out during this process and are taking on their industry with timeless style:
Chukwuemeka, also known as “Chuk,” is only nine years old and his bowtie designs have quickly become a favorite accessory in the world of fashion! Chuk is an extremely hard working, personable, and business savvy child designer who created his first unique piece at the age of four! Even as a young child he was able to recognize a niche market and target it. “I saw everyone on TV dressing up and wearing ties so I thought I would make bowties…” His very first bowtie was a dark blue/greenish reversible piece made of Felt and Velcro; now, five years later, Chuk has expanded his line to two wildly popular collections— “Gummy Bear” and “Sneaker Doodle!” Chuk was a proud participant in the Business Camp and was grateful to experience all of the festivities, but took the greatest liking to “Saturday Sales” day, where he enjoyed the opportunity of selling his product; and sell he did, moving all but only 5 of his colorful and creative designs! Among his customers was ULYP President Michael Ferrerra, now proudly showcasing his very own “Chuk and Friends” bowtie! You can also find Chuk in your local comedy club developing his craft as a stand up comedian, and at the forefront of promotional efforts for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), as taking in foster animals and dressing them up quickly caught the organizations attention and drove their motivation for making him the new “PETA Kid!” This talented young man does have a head start in his business endeavors, but by no means plans to slow down, as his future goals include expanding his business into creating one-of-a-kind socks and blazers, hair bows for babies, and clothing for pets! He is truly a powerful businessman in the making and we are honored to have had the opportunity to play a role in his advancement! Follow Chuk on Instagram at @ChukandFriends!
Another Business Camp All Start that we’d like to spotlight is 11th grade Nicholas Gutierrez, founder of Royal Dream Apparel. Nicholas developed an interest in entrepreneurship his freshman year of high school during a business project. He was to come up with a business concept, but didn’t know what to create. Inspired by an interest in drawing and design, Nicholas decided to start a clothing line. Guided by his mother, who is also a business owner, Nick began by selling his merchandise to family and his friends at school, and didn’t fully realize his future potential until attending the Business Camp taught him valuable skills for taking his business to the next level. The highlight of this experience for Nick was the opportunity to strengthen his presentation delivery. Now, with a heightened level of confidence a vivid vision of the future, Nick continues to grow his line of t-shirts, tank tops, jackets, and crew necks as he expands into the world of headwear. His ultimate goal is to open a clothing store, and everyday he works towards that goal by offering an outlet of self-expression for the young people of today and “representing their dreams of becoming successful.” Follow Royal Dream Apparel on Instagram at @RoyalDreamInc.
Thank you to all of those who played a role in making this opportunity possible for these motivated and talented students. Thank you to all of the students who attended for putting your best foot forward and being open to the learning process. To see our youth so passionate about entrepreneurship is exciting and inspiring, and we take great pride in knowing that through the work of these students and others like them the future appears to be brighter than we can imagine!