Young Entrepreneurs Academy
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a nine-month program that teaches middle and high school students how to start and run their own real businesses and social movements. Students are guided through each step of starting an enterprise, from brainstorming the idea to pitching their business plan to investors. Classroom learning is anchored by real-world applications, such as submitting DBAs to the County Clerk’s Office, opening bank accounts, filing tax returns, and earning real profits at a trade show. The class meets weekly on Wednesday afternoons beginning in late October at the Bellevue Chamber office.
YEA! was developed at the University of Rochester in 2004 with the support of a grant from the Kauffman Foundation. YEA! has graduated almost 600 students over the past 7 years, who have started almost 450 business and social movements. Kids start as students, and graduate as CEOs! Students work in close cooperation with local leaders of industry, community members, and educators to develop ideas and objectives, write business plans, pitch potential investors, obtain funding, register with governmental agencies, develop their brand identity and much more!
By the end of the class, students own and operate fully functioning businesses that can be carried on after graduation. Students learn to make a job – not just take a job. YEA!’s direct mission is to help students embrace their passion, energy, creativity and talents, launch a venture, and view entrepreneurship as synonymous with success and freedom.
YEA! Class of 2019