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Wyoming Business Tips for Feb. 22-28

February 16, 2009

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center, part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Elizabeth Parks, Market Research Center

"There must be programs and opportunities for youths in Wyoming. Where can I find them?" Susan, Chugwater

Activities are needed to challenge young people's minds. There are many opportunities out there; unfortunately some may not be well publicized through the schools and other organizations.

Young people who are encouraged to participate in programs that stimulate innovation stand a good chance of becoming entrepreneurs and starting small businesses in Wyoming. Small business is the foundation of the nation and young people need resources and necessary training to become next-generation entrepreneurs.

There seems to be a consistent pattern of youths leaving Wyoming after high school or college and not returning. To keep youths from leaving the state, training and educational opportunities must be marketed, especially in the area of youth entrepreneurship. Below are several opportunities for youths, followed by links for more information.

The Huge O'Brien Youth Leadership Seminar (HOBY) is a leadership program designed to motivate youths into making a difference in society. Seminars are held regionally. Cheyenne was sponsored the 2007 HOBY Wyoming conference:

Recruiting Young Business Leaders, Wyoming Business Council, (307) 777-2834:

Converse Area New Development Organization (CANDO) sponsors statewide business camps through its Youth Business Camp, funded by the USDA:

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is a not-for-profit organization promoting pre-engineering courses for middle and high school students. PLTW forms partnerships with public schools, higher education institutions and the private sector to increase the quantity and quality of engineers and engineering technologists graduating from our educational system. High schools can become certified to participate in this program. Jonathan Larson, Carbon County, has recently integrated the program into the high school, (307) 328-9274: or

SKILLS USA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled work force, helping students to excel. SKILLS USA Wyoming has several opportunities for youths who want to develop technical skills needed in the state. Toni Decklever is the state director, (307) 426-4007:, or and

Wyoming Astro Camp is a week long space/astronomy camp, offered to 6-8th grade students, held on the University of Wyoming campus. Students stay in the dorms. Scholarships are available:

Youth can be challenged to become entrepreneurs by setting goals to participate in the National Federation of Independent Businesses-Young Entrepreneur Foundation. Scholarships range from $1,000-$10,000: or

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a source of information for math, engineering, technology, science and business programs. There are many more programs (other than the ones that are listed) on the Kaufmann Web site at

For more information, visit the www.WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz Web site.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, e-mail or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY 82071-3922. Additional help is available at the WSBDC Web page at

Posted on Monday, February 16, 2009

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