Youth Entrepreneurship

North Dakota DECA

DECADECA’s mission is to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.  DECA enhances the co-curricular education of members though a comprehensive learning program that integrates into classroom instruction, applies learning, connects to business and promotes competition.  DECA’s activities assist in the development of academically prepared, community oriented, professional responsible, experienced leaders.  DECA is a 501©3 not-for-profit organization with more than 200,000 members in all 50 states.  DECA members develop leadership skills on the local level through chapter activities, community service projects, learning activities, and business partnerships.  At the state level students develop networking skills, leadership skills, and entrepreneurial skills.  They also excel in competition, demonstrating their knowledge and skills through both written assessment and presentation skills at the state competition.  Students can qualify to represent North Dakota and compete at the National competition each year.

Program dates and membership follow the school year calendar.  The Fall Leadership Conference is held in October, the state conference in March, and the National Conference in April or May.  The program is offered to both high school and college students.

Requirements: Students at the high school level must be in grades 9-12 and enrolled in a Marketing Education class.  College students should have an interest in marketing, finance, hospitality, or management or a business related field.  Membership for state and national affiliation can be found on the website.

For more information:

Kevin Reisenauer
North Dakota DECA State Advisor –  national site is Facebook

Mini-Society Entrepreneurship Camp

Mini-SocietyMini-Society citizens, youth and adults, establish and name their own town, create their own currency, start up businesses to supply the goods and services they believe their neighbors need and resolve community issues in regular town council meetings. They learn how to recognize opportunities and how to take advantage of those opportunities for personal benefit and community development.

Mini-Society entrepreneurs face the same personal and economic challenges that confront enterprising adults.  By resolving these daily challenges they become more self-sufficient, resilient, optimistic and productive individuals and more confident and collaborative young citizens.

Trained facilitators recognize all these experiences as trigger events for teaching entrepreneurship, economics, free enterprise, ethics and civics plus grade-level math, social studies, language arts and technology concepts.

Because the experiences are personal, relevant and active, youngsters relish living and learning in a Mini-Society where they experience how to play a purposeful and rewarding role in their own community.

Requirements: Students must be between the ages of 9-13 to participate in a Mini-Society camp.

For more information:

Barry Striegel
North Dakota Youth Entrepreneurship Education Program
UND – Center for Innovation
(701) 741-6985

Marketplace for Kids


The Marketplace for Kids educational program offers encouragement for developing entrepreneurs in grades 3 through middle school. It provides young people with a forum to present and showcase projects demonstrating entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity; and a variety of classes and educational exhibits to help develop business skills, enhance personal development, and build friendships.

Marketplace for Kids:

  • Is free to schools, youth organizations, and any student who wants to participate.
  • Is available for one course credit (fee paid). Call 888-384-8410 for more information.
  • Provides classroom visits and/or information sessions for students and teachers!

Grant opportunities are available for project students. Contact your Regional Education Association Coordinator.

The Learning Guide

Developed by Marketplace for Kids, the Learning Guide is designed to provide teachers, youth leaders, parents and students with ideas, information, and lesson plans for world class entrepreneurial learning. The Learning Guide contains new information including:

  • An expanded Section 4: Adventures in Agriculture and Using Our Renewable Resources!
  • Beautiful Women OfTM – A Youth Initiative for Innovation in Art and Literature – A new, wonderful opportunity for students to write a story and share it at a Marketplace for Kids Project Showcase. Students showcasing their story will have an opportunity to have it published by Forum Communications.

The Learning Guide is available at Register to download the information, free of charge.

For more information:

Marilyn K. Kipp
Marketplace for Kids
210 N 4th Street
Bismarck, ND 58501-4004
Phone: 701-663-0150
Toll Free: 888-384-8410
Fax: 701-663-1032

Innovate ND

InnovateWhether you are looking to start your own business by launching your business idea, or already have an existing business, you’ve come to the right place! Innovate ND is where the search for innovation and breakthrough ideas that lead to exciting ventures begins. Be part of a unique entrepreneurial community that connects coaches at  entrepreneurial centers to budding entrepreneurs, like you, to create economic growth in North Dakota.

Until now, Innovate ND has been known as a venture competition with deadlines, a Top 20 and the opportunity to win a cash prize. In 2013, Innovate ND will focus on educational assistance for entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial community as a whole, rather than a venture competition. This means Innovate ND will not provide a competition or cash awards for 2013 program participants.

For more information visit Innovate ND or contact the Innovate ND Program Manager at the North Dakota Department of Commerce by e-mail or calling 701-328-5300.


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