Some of Orange County’s future entrepreneurs will get a jump-start on their careers this July, thanks to a collaboration between Girls Inc. and Chapman University.

Girls Inc. and Chapman will present a four-week summer camp called Youth Empowerment and Self Sufficiency (YESS) Entrepreneurship Academy in the Leatherby Center Launch Labs operated by the Argyros School of Business and Economics.

The camp will meet in the Launch Labs’ West Palm Avenue work center. In addition to providing the space and other resources for the program, the University will make available several students from its own entrepreneur program to assist with each day’s activities.

“The girls are going to see where students are working in real entrepreneurial spaces and work with those students,” says Kelli McIntosh, elementary program coordinator for Girls Inc. “We’re thrilled. I honestly can’t imagine a cooler place to have it.”

The entrepreneurship program has been a component of Girls Inc. summer camps for more than 15 years, but it grew so popular that the organization decided to offer it as a full four-week camp, including field trips to meet real life entrepreneurs, McIntosh says.

The curriculum guides girls through the process of creating a simulated society with its own currency, economy, elected officials and business community. Interwoven throughout are lessons in economic literacy and business management. To cap off the activities students and guests visit a business showcase where they are invited to spend faux money at myriad enterprises created and operated by the campers.

The academy is open to current third-fifth grade girls and will run from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 5-28. Early registration is $600, regular registration is $700. Scholarships are available. For questions, contact McIntosh at or (714) 597-8611. Learn more and register now at

Display image at top/Young entrepreneurs from Girls Inc. visit Chapman during summer 2016. This year’s camp will be housed at Chapman University.