Pre-teen entrepreneur camp in Middle Georgia puts kids to work for themselves

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According to the National Youth Employment Coalition, youth employment is at a 60-year low. While some kids vie for summer jobs, Building Young Entrepreneurs will put them to work for themselves.

Building Young Entrepreneurs (BYE) is a program for middle school students created to recruit and train the next generation of entrepreneurs. During the 8-week camp, students will learn to develop a real business, raise start-up funds, and pitch their idea at the end of the summer. The curriculum includes emphasis on writing, networking, and presentation skills. Camp goers will see real examples of entrepreneurs their age running successful businesses.

“If you think your child is too young to have their own business – think again. It’s all about teaching them to tap into their gifts and passion to come up with a viable business they can run,” explains Lakeitha Grey, BYE program administrator and CEO of Behave LLC. “Youth businesses bring families and communities together to rally for our young people and their efforts.” features a crowdfunding component that allows each student to set up a campaign to promote their business idea and raise real capital to get it off the ground. The concept of crowdfunding is capitalizing off small contributions of the collective community, often fueled by family, friends, and followers of social media. is the first crowdfunding site dedicated to tween and teen entrepreneurs.

“Youth is a gift in business. Preconceived notions of fear of failure is what hinders many adults from pursuing their dreams,” expresses Grey. “Young minds are fresh and free to create.”

The pilot program for BYE was launched in Atlanta, GA in 2013. Innovo Laboratory small business incubator at Johnson C. Smith University took interest in Building Young Entrepreneurs and is anticipating a launch in Charlotte, NC in 2015. Grey approached The 567 Center for Renewal in downtown Macon to host the initiative in her hometown.

“As a native, I’m so excited to be bringing BYE to Middle Georgia,” exclaims Grey. “The 567 Center for Renewal is the perfect fit given their efforts to support growth of small business in Macon.”

Camp starts Monday, June 2nd and runs through July 25th.  Healthy snacks will be provided for all campers. Camp is held Monday thru Friday from 8am to 5pm at The 567 Center for Renewal located at 533 Cherry Street. Discount for multiple children and extended care available.  Scholarships are based on need and availability. For more information, visit or contact Lakeitha Grey at 404-923-0859 or

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Lakeitha S. Grey is the Chief Executive Officer of Behave. She is a proud University of Georgia graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Master of Arts in Communications recipient from Florida State University. Grey began her advertising career in Texas where she coordinated the first Internet campaigns for American Airlines, Nationwide Insurance, and Subaru. In dedication to improving the quality of life, Grey launched Metro Atlanta-based Behave – a communications firm specializing in outreach to those who exhibit addictive behaviors, at-risk lifestyles, habits that threaten the environment, and indifference towards policy and issues. Past and current clients include Beauty Recycles, Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Florida Department of Health, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. A Past President of the American Advertising Federation Tallahassee chapter, Grey is a community leader in the communications field. She was one of 16 named “Young Guns: 20-Somethings Who Are Helping to Shape Business in Florida” in July 2006 by Florida Trend magazine and 2008 inductee into the Who’s Who of Prevention Leaders in Florida for outstanding work in the area of problem gambling prevention. Grey has received a number of advertising industry awards for creative excellence in the Public Service category.