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Students from Birmingham City Schools will learn the intricacies of small business development at the first Auburn University Tiger Cage Entrepreneurship Camp July 24-29.

Hosted by the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business and the Auburn University Center for Educational Outreach and Engagement, the camp will provide hands-on learning for 15 middle school students enrolled in the GEAR UP, or Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, Birmingham program. Supported by a $19.6 million U.S. Department of Education grant, GEAR UP Birmingham prepares low-income, minority and first-generation students for college through summer academic enrichment programs, tutoring and mentorship opportunities.

The Tiger Cage camp, an offshoot of the Tiger Cage student entrepreneurship competition developed by the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, will include classroom instruction, interactive activities, computer lab sessions and field trips to local businesses. Campers will have the opportunity to work with Auburn faculty, business leaders and entrepreneurs to bring their own business concepts to life.

“We seek to expose young students to entrepreneurship and encourage them to be creative problem solvers,” said LaKami Baker, managing director of the Lowder Center for Family Business and Entrepreneurship in the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business. “We want to teach them to get excited about brainstorming new ideas for products or services, develop the confidence to explore their ideas and communicate them to others and believe they have the capability to make it happen with the right resources.”

The camp emphasizes real-world business skills through interactive exercises including verbal communication, leadership development, collaboration and team building, financial management and business education. Students will learn how to recognize business opportunities, set and reach goals and successfully negotiate for business materials. Students will have the opportunity to learn about Auburn University academic majors and business careers that support entrepreneurship, including finance, accounting and marketing.