The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a year-long program that teaches middle and high school students how to start and run their own REAL businesses. YEA! was developed at the University of Rochester in 2004 with the support of a grant from the Kauffman Foundation. The Laurinburg/Scotland County Chamber is excited to be introducing YEA! to the Scotland County Community!
Background on Program
YEA! guides high school students through the process of starting and running a legitimate business or social movement over the course of a full academic year. YEA! has graduated almost 600 students over the past 7 years, who have started almost 450 businesses and social movements! YEA! graduates started as students, and left the program as CEOs of their own companies!
Over the course of the program, students:
- Brainstorm business ideas
- Write a business plan
- Interact with business professionals
- Pitch their business plan to potential “investors” (think Shark Tank meets the Apprentice meets American Idol)
- Obtain funding
- Legally register their businesses
- Participate in a Trade Show
- Actually launch their own businesses or social movements
This program offers students the chance to:
- Develop the skills necessary to launch their own business or social movement (hands-on entrepreneurial experience!)
- Learn about real businesses - why they succeed or fail.
- Hear from local entrepreneurs.
- Launch their own business or social movement!
- Become more confident in their ideas and their abilities.
Organization of Program
YEA! classes will meet November through June, for three hours weekly.
There are no classes during regular school holidays and recesses. Students are taught by an instructor, but are exposed to guest lecturers, successful entrepreneurs and business mentors. The class goes on field trips to a variety of local businesses. Finally, the students participate in three major events throughout the year: the Investor Panel, Trade Show and a formal graduation ceremony.
How Business Professionals Can Get Involved
Through their interactions with business professionals during the year, YEA! students gain some of the most important knowledge and experience they need to succeed. Local professionals volunteer their time and expertise as guest speakers, mentors, investors, graphic designers, field trip hosts, business plan reviewers, and much more. The time YEA! students spend with adults who encourage their futures is invaluable, and participants often report getting even more out of their participation than they put in to it!
If you are interested in becoming involved with YEA! as a guest speaker, fieldtrip host, or volunteer, contact Brenda Gilbert at 910-276-7420.
A big THANK YOU to our sponsors, who have helped bring YEA! to Laurinburg, Scotland County, NC.
Investor Level Sponsors:
Pilkington, AT&T, Progress Energy, City of Laurinburg
Sponsors and Scholarship Contributors:
Scotland Motors, Frank Lea, Scotland High WIA, Laurinburg Rotary Club
For more information, call 910-276-7420 or email Brenda...
Congratulations to the 2012 Graduates from the Young Entrepreneurs Academy - CEOs in the Making:
Hannah Ammons, Brandon Beckwith, Ashaad Blackmon, Essie Canada, Anna Lisa Ciarrocca, Eric Davis, Chante’ Deese, Elizabeth Dunbar, LeVern Hamer, Alyssa Harrington, Summer Luquer, Kenyetta McLaurin, Asia Oxendine, Angel McCoy, Jalen Poole, Mahalia Rhett, Gwendea Rogers, Terrence Smith, Abigail Tremblay and Jazzmin Williams.
Headlines from the 2011-2012 YEA Program...
NOVEMBER 8TH - STUDENT/PARENT ORIENTATION
It was great to meet all of our student CEOs and I think everyone enjoyed their first real NETWORKING event.
NOVEMBER 11TH - FIRST CLASS "EXPLORING ENTREPRENEURS"
Our Students went zipping through the tress and walked on water (okay, they walked on a bridge over a waterfall). Click on one of the video links below to see first hand their experience.
You can also go zipping yourself at Zipquest in Fayetteville, NC. We encourage you to do so. The staff was wonderful and provided our students a day they won't forget. CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITE...www.zipquest.com
DECEMBER 13TH - "MELLOW MUSHROOM" FOOD FRANCHISE FIELD TRIP
Our Students took a trip to the Mellow Mushroom restaurant in Southern Pines. They were able to not only enjoy some great food, but they heard first hand about the experiences of a local restaurant entrepreneur. It is no easy task to open a restaurant and sometimes the path one takes to be a small business owner has many twists and turns.
JANUARY 17TH - STUDENTS BEGIN WORKING WITH THEIR MENTORS
Now the real work begins as our students take their ideas and put them into an actual business plan. Students are writing their business plans, creating financials and developing marketing strategies.