BestPrep’s Minnesota Business Venture (MBV) completed its 35th year of programming in July. This year, 344 students representing 113 different schools attended this professional development experience. MBV runs two sessions of residential camp hosted by the Herberger Business School at St. Cloud State University and the Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship at St. John’s University.
Students are members of a “company” while at MBV, which is made up of 12-15 of their peers. Through the week these companies create a fictitious product and make a business plan incorporating the finance, > operations, and marketing of the product. The finale of the week is the company’s 15-minute sales presentation to a panel of volunteer “venture capitalists” asking for a loan to start their business. In addition to learning how to start a business, students gain career readiness skills through mock interviews, gain financial literacy skills from guest speakers, and enjoy networking with other students from all across Minnesota, and even some students from out of state, too!
This year we had over 160 business professional volunteers who took time out of their day to help make MBV a success. The volunteer roles included Business Plan Judges, Mock Interviewers, Financial Planners, Residential Business Leaders, Speakers, and Financial Experts. Many volunteers come back year after year to work with the students in these week-long or half day volunteer opportunities.
One student from Ortonville High School shared about their experience:
“Minnesota Business Venture is truly a “life” camp, not a “business” camp. The session and projects help develop real life skills unlike any other organization I have been a part of.”