U.S. Virgin Islands teens and young adults interested in agricultural entrepreneurship are invited to apply to a unique weekend retreat co-sponsored by the University of the Virgin Islands’ (UVI) School of Agriculture’s Cooperative Extension Service.  

The Shaping Equity Through Conservation Entrepreneurial Camp (SETCEC) is seeking aspiring business leaders between the ages of 16 and 22 to participate in an interactive, educational experience that allows them to unlock their leadership potential through informational sessions and skills-based workshops. Topics to be addressed include entrepreneurship, public speaking, business etiquette, ethics, effective communication, goal setting, resume writing, time management and financial skills development.  

Co-sponsored by the Advanced Minds Pursuing Success (AMPS) Entrepreneurship Leadership Institute and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS), SETCEC delivers a series of lessons from business basics to business ideas and proven strategies that will help ignite the spark of creativity into a start-up business. Through hands-on activities, business games and guest speakers, SETCEC’s practical lessons are designed to enlighten, empower and teach students how to utilize their knowledge to become confident and familiar with business practices as they start their own businesses.  

“We are excited to be able to extend this opportunity to our young people, where they can acquire real-world entrepreneurial and leadership skills and learn how to translate their vision and creativity into meaningful enterprises that support communities and promote economic self-sufficiency,” said Dr. Louis Petersen, assistant director of the UVI Cooperative Extension Service.  

There is no cost to attend the retreat, but students must complete an application that includes an essay describing their future goals and business aspirations.  

“USDA-NRCS funds this entrepreneurship retreat to help keep local talent in the Virgin Islands, concentrating on agri-business and helping our younger generation understand the importance of building their businesses. The AMPS Institute is committed to helping these young entrepreneurs stay engaged with a year-long mentorship and internships to foster a creative mindset and help them succeed,” said James Amps, founder of the AMPS Entrepreneurship Leadership Institute.  

The three-day event runs from Feb. 3-5, 2023, at Emerald Beach Resort on St. Thomas.  

All participants will compete for start-up capital at the SETCEC Venture Capital Competition, and there will be three business plan finalists.  

The deadline to apply is Jan. 27, 2023. The online application is available at www.ampsinstitute.com. 


For more information, contact pr@uvi.edu.