Boundless rewards of business and entrepreneur clubs

4-H clubs open doors to new possibilities. Networking and careers are formed by starting or joining a business entrepreneurship club.

Ever wonder what it would be like to start your own business?  And more importantly, what are the first steps? Joining a youth organization such as Michigan 4-H, a youth development organization of Michigan State University Extension, DECA, FFA (formerly Future Farmers of America), Future Business Leaders of America or Business Professional Organizations of America  would be a great starting point. All of these organizations have been around for decades with the oldest being 4-H, starting nationally in 1902. 

These organizations have impacted millions of high school and college students through their business, agriculture, marketing and vocational educational programs.  They provide young people with knowledge about the business world while also giving them a platform to put what they have learned to practice. Through experiential learning methods, students are prepared for the world of business while at the same time building leadership skills. These youth organizations are opening doors to new possibilities, networks and volunteer opportunities along with career options. In fact, through a longitudinal study at Tufts University," young people in 4-H are nearly two times more likely to plan to go to college and report better grades, higher levels of academic competence and an elevated level of engagement at school.”

With the assistance of trained volunteers and teachers, these organizations supplement and continue the learning that takes places in school through clubs, conferences, chapters and competitions. For adults and volunteers interested in helping shape the next generation of business leaders, these organizations have accumulated a wealth of business and entrepreneurial resources. 

Whether you are looking for hands on business curriculum, interested in starting a school based enterprise, attending a workshop or just reading scholarly articles about youth entrepreneurship, these organizations can help.

In addition to learning about business and entrepreneurship, young people involved in these organizations can participate in numerous local, state, national and even international competitions. The competitions are a great way to meet new people, build confidence and a fun way to test your ideas.

If you are wondering how to get started, reach out to your local MSU Extension office, school counselor or business teacher. They can assist in finding out if there is a program near you. If not, it just takes a volunteer, or teacher, and interested young people to come together and make it happen. It all starts with you.  Be entrepreneurial!

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