Empowering the Business Spirit

EBS ENLACE Youth Entrepreneurship Project

The Empowering the Business Spirit (EBS) ENLACE Youth Entrepreneurship Project was funded by the WK Kellogg Foundation in 2005 as the youth education branch of the EBS Network. EBS is a collaborative of business assistance organizations, lenders and educational institutions committed to providing easy access to free services for potential and practicing entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship and financial literacy education for youth and adults in four counties in northern New Mexico – Rio Arriba, San Miguel, Mora, and Taos.

The primary activities sponsored by the ENLACE/EBS Youth Entrepreneurship Project are summer youth entrepreneur camps, summer internships, teacher workshops, an annual statewide business plan competition at the NM Governor's Summit on Economic Development, the annual 2020 Youth Entrepreneurship conference, and curriculum development for young entrepreneurs. To find out more about the EBS Network go to bizport.org or click EBS links. Contact the Director Mr. Ron Martinez and his EBS staff for more information.

Youth Entrepreneur Camps

The EBS ENLACE Youth Entrepreneur Project sponsors FREE five-day Youth Entrepreneur Camps every summer in Española, Las Vegas, and Taos. These camps guide students who have shown special interest and promising business ideas through the process of developing a business plan as the first step in starting a business. Juan Casimiro, a national youth entrepreneur trainer from Insight will lead the Entrepreneur Camp that will include five days of expert instruction and guidance. Participants who complete the five-day training will be ready to work with their teachers or other adult sponsors to start a school-based enterprise or an individual business.

All students who attend all five days of the camp and complete a business plan will receive a stipend to help in starting a business. In addition, the top five finalists in the business plan competition held on the last day of the camp will win great prizes.

The EBS Youth Entrepreneur Camp begins each day promptly at 9 am and end at 4 pm,Tuesday – Saturday. Lunch will be provided. Transportation to and from the NNMC is up to students, parents, or other adult sponsors.

Attendance at the Youth Entrepreneur Camp is limited to 25 students from the EBS service area (San Miguel, Mora, Rio Arriba, and Taos Counties). To inquire about the dates for this year's camps, call Ron Martinez at 747-7238 or Paul Romero at 747-2251. We look forward to working with the future entrepreneurs of northern New Mexico!

Quotes from students who have taken the Youth Entrepreneurship camp:

"This camp helped me learn the fundamentals of starting a business."

"I now have the courage to start a business myself and I know how to find the money to do it."

"I want to start a business to help homeless teenagers get a better start."

"Unless you learn how to start a business at camps like this, people don't take you seriously as a young person."

2020: Growing a Greener Future 
Youth Entrepreneur Conference
NNMC, Española Friday, April 25

The annual 2020 (Veinte Veinte) Youth Entrepreneur Conference was held at Northern New Mexico College in Española for the last four years in April on Arbor Day. This youth conference is sponsored by the Northern New Mexico ENLACE/ Gear Up Program, the Regional Development Corporation (RDC), Empowering Business Spirit (EBS) Entrepreneur Network, the Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations (CESDP), and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in cooperation with Earthcare International and local school districts. Each year more than 150 middle and high school students from northern New Mexico school districts attend a full day of speakers and workshops addressing entrepreneurship and careers that sustain and enrich our local communities. The keynote speakers are always inspiring young and young-at-heart entrepreneurs and community activists.

During the 2020 Youth Entrepreneur Conference, students attend several workshops of their choice that introduced them to the many possibilities of entrepreneurship and careers in the arts, music, clothing production and retail, “green building”, sustainable agricultural, alternative energy, school-based enterprises, youth-run cafes and greenhouses, and youth media projects. Because the conference day is also Arbor Day, students participate in a tree planting ceremony on the college campus then take home a tree seedling to plant. It is our strategy to expose young people to a wide variety of career options, entrepreneurial possibilities, and cultural activities that contribute to the sustainability of New Mexico as we look ahead to the year 2020.

The 2020 Youth Entrepreneur Conference at NNMC is an important event in an on-going EBS/ENLACE Youth Leadership initiative directed by Ron Martinez of ENLACE and the Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations (CESDP). In addition to the 2020 Conference, the goals of the ENLACE project are to 1) certify 60 teachers and after-school educators in the youth Entrepreneur curriculum; 2) support educators in teaching Youth Entrepreneurship; 3) host summer Youth Entrepreneur Camps for rising stars who are ready to develop businesses; 4) sustain school-based enterprises, field trips, summer internships, and Business Plan Competitions; and 5) involve youth entrepreneurs in community service and planning.

Summer Youth Internships

Internships are held by young entrepreneurs who have been paired with local adult entrepreneurs and business mentors for a minimum of 100 hours. EBS student interns have worked in art operations, marketing, journalism, agriculture, children’s clothing, and as tutors for summer school students.

Statewide Youth Business Plan Competition

The New Mexico Youth Entrepreneurship Network (NMYEN), Empowering the Business Spirit (EBS), the Regional Development Corporation (RDC), and the EBS Youth Entrepreneurship Project provide an opportunity for New Mexico students to compete in the Statewide Youth Business Plan Competition during the annual Governor’s Summit on Economic Development. This statewide competition provides a forum for youth from New Mexico to generate a business idea, work with school sponsors to build it into a business plan, and submit it for entry. A panel of business leaders judge the entries and choose the top 18 business plans to be presented at the Governor’s Summit on Economic Development. At the competition, the students or student teams who place in the top five win start-up capital for their businesses. For more information contact EBS staff.

Educator Workshops

The EBS Youth Entrepreneurship Project hosts summer Teacher Workshops in Española, Taos, and Las Vegas. Mr. Juan Casimiro from Insight in Miami facilitates the workshops that provide curriculum and training for teachers in how to incorporate business development skills into their core classes. Some teachers also learn how to facilitate the youth entrepreneur summer camps.

New Mexico Youth Entrepreneurship Curriculum and Teaching Video

The EBS Youth Entrepreneurship Project and Juan Casimiro have developed a new and customized curriculum and video that addresses the issues of entrepreneurship from a local and social venture structure. The curriculum addresses the issues impacting rural communities, gives credit to local business champions, and address the social impacts of community and other influences impacting youth in today’s economic climate in New Mexico.

Youth Entrepreneurship State Policy

EBS is working with business partners and policymakers to increase the awareness of the benefits of students learning business acumen, leadership, and civic engagement. Toward this goal, the New Mexico State Legislature funded an effort to create the Statewide New Mexico Youth Entrepreneurship Network (NMYEN). The NMYEN collaborative meets quarterly to share best practices in youth entrepreneurship training and to plan the annual Statewide Business Plan Competition.