The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a groundbreaking and exciting year-long class that transforms middle and high school students into real, confident entrepreneurs. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors, and actually launch and run their own real, legal, fully formed companies and social movements. Complete with dynamic guest speakers from the local business community and exciting behind-the-scenes trips to local companies, the fun, projects-based YEA! approach empowers students to take charge of their futures in a profound way.
Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kaufmann Foundation, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy today serves thousands of students in 168 communities across America. In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce and Campaign for Free Enterprise became a national sponsor and partner of the Academy to help celebrate the spirit of enterprise among today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders.
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy is not only a wonderful tool to teach students about business, but also a great way to build confident leaders with values. An excellent instrument to unify the business and educational communities, YEA! continues to expand across the country to fulfill our mission of teaching more students how to make a job, not just take a job.
Develop and deliver experience-based entrepreneurship programs to young people to:
- Enable them to transition successfully to adulthood;
- Help them to pursue their dreams by harnessing their creativity and energy;
- Help them transform their ideas into tangible enterprises that create economic and social value for a better world;
- Develop the character of tomorrow’s leaders based on personal principles and values;
- Enable educational institutions and Chambers of Commerce to provide successful and effective entrepreneurship programs for middle and high school students;
- Create a culture of innovation in schools and communities across the nation; and
- Foster the entrepreneurial mindset in young people, educators, and community members.
To be a leader in establishing innovative, experiential entrepreneurship programs for middle and high school students, delivering these programs through colleges and universities, and in high schools and middle schools throughout the country, in close cooperation with local community and business leaders and their organizations. To partner with like minded organizations to effectively deliver entrepreneurship education to young people across our nation.
YEA! provides a focused introduction to the business world, combining a dynamic, proven curriculum with the experiences of local leaders of industry, community members, educators and entrepreneurs. The goal of all YEA! classes is for each student to successfully launch their own business.
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy, Inc. (YEA! Inc) is a charitable, tax-exempt organization under Section 501c (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
THE UNIQUE YEA! APPROACH: A POWERFUL CURRICULUM
The curriculum of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy was developed by entrepreneurs, educators, and business professionals and is easily understood when broken down into three major components; (1) idea generation and opportunity recognition, (2) business plan development, and (3) the launch of the new enterprises. This in-depth curriculum provides instructors with course objectives, discussion ideas, activities, and materials required for each class. Throughout the eight-month program, students learn in a proven project-based approach that incorporates all YEA! materials as well as an exciting guest speaker and field trip components. The YEA! program is far from a business simulation model; throughout the year, the students actually identify, create, and launch real, fully registered businesses through the turnkey YEA! process eight years in the making.
The comprehensive and complete package of materials provided by the Young Entrepreneurs Academy includes all Student Workbooks, Instructor & Program Manager Training Guides, Lesson Plans, PowerPoint Slides, Student Homework, Business Plan Templates, Student Recruitment Guides, and much more.
However the YEA! program also comes complete with in-depth training of the local YEA! Instructor/Teacher and Program Manager. This training includes an initial 3-hour introductory training session covering the first 20 contact hours, as well as weekly 30-minute site-support calls to ensure consistency and continued success with every component of the YEA! program. Through the training, teachers are taught how to deliver effective entrepreneurship education by asking questions instead of having all the answers.
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy consists of two different models that both incorporate the critical components that make this program a life-changing experience for students, including an in school elective and an after-school enrichment program. The in-school credit-bearing elective may run along with a public school’s master schedule in a 40-minute or 80-minute full academic year class period. The after school enrichment model consists of a weekly 3-hour class that runs over a 30-week, eight-month period. Both models have proven to yield consistent, successful results as the YEA! curriculum meets and generally exceeds all state educational standards for business education curriculum.
- Tuition $795 (*payment plans available)
- Students must be in Junior High or High School (grades 6-12)
- Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0
- Each applicant must have access to reliable transportation to and from the class
- Parental permission will be required for a number of field trips