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Mini boot camps for young entrepreneurs

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(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

He's just 15 years old, but has been at it since he was 7.

Jake was discovered at a marketplace organized for other kids like him who run their own businesses.

Andrea Bowe helps set up the events that teach eager entrepreneurs the tricks of the trade. "They get a chance to develop their business plan and their market plan and have a chance to go sell it at a live market," Bowe said.

Similar camps, classes and afterschool programs are popping up all over the country.

Dr. Hilary Friedman sees the benefits, but suggests parents with mogul-minded kids start with baby steps. "It's important not to go for Shark Tank right away," Friedman said. "To keep the focus at a manageable pace for a child so it doesn't feel overwhelming."

She understands business classes can be a great opportunity but stresses balance should be the boss. "The danger is if their identity becomes over-involved in just one thing," Friedman said. "What happens if they burn out?”

She says it's important to manage expectations for the kids and the parents. And Bowe agrees. “Some kids I would wonder is it them that keeps showing up each month or is it their parents encouraging them.

Jake's dad says he follows his son's lead. "At least he's learning these life skills that he can take with him," he said.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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