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YEA - Young Entrepreneurs Academy



Creative and motivated middle & high school students are invited to apply for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), an exciting after-school program for grades 6-12 that teaches them how to start and run their own REAL businesses! 

Classes meet once a week from 4:30pm –7:30pm at the Elkhart Area Career Center, 2424 California Rd. beginning the first of November 2016 and ending in May 2017.  For an application, click on the above ad to download or call Kathy Cardwell, YEA! Program Manager 574-293-1531 ext. 122 or email kcardwell@elkhart.org  to find out how as a volunteer you can get involved.


About the Academy

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) teaches middle and high school go-getters how to start and run their own, REAL businesses.

Celebrating the Spirit of Enterprise and Innovation
Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA! has helped more than 4,000 students nationwide launch over 3,000 businesses and social movements. The Elkhart Chamber of Commerce is excited to offer YEA! to our community.
Make a Job—Don’t Just Take a Job!
YEA! guides students through the process of fulfilling their very own American dream. By bridging the business and educational communities students are taught by trained instructors, and are exposed to guest lecturers, successful entrepreneurs and mentors. Over the course of the program, students:
  • Brainstorm business ideas
  • Write a business plan
  • Interact with business professionals
  • Attend field trips for a behind-the-scenes look at local businesses
  • Pitch their business plan to local investors for startup funding and the opportunity to advance to regional and national competitions.
  • Legally register their businesses
  • Participate in a local YEA! Trade Show
  • Launch and run their own business or social movement
  • Graduate from the program with lifelong leadership and business skills
Calendar
YEA! classes meet November through May, for three hours weekly. There are no classes during regular school holidays and recesses.
October 14, 2016  Applications Deadline
October 2016   Admitted Student & Parent Orientation
October 27, 2016  Weekly Classes Begin
March 30, 2017          YEA! Investor Panel
May 2017            YEA! Trade Show – Concord Mall
May 5, 2017             Regional Competition (if selected)
June 2017            National Competition (if selected)
May 25, 2017             Graduation

Student Selection Process
YEA! welcomes applications from all students in grades 6-12 who are between 11 and 18 years old. Students interested in starting their own, real business may apply for acceptance into the program by completing the application, which includes an essay and short-answer questions, school transcripts and letter of recommendation.

Once the completed application is received, students may be invited to attend an in-person interview. Acceptance into the program is based on all aspects of the completed application as well as the personal interview. Prior business experience is not required, nor is it required to have a business idea prior to the start of class.
Apply
Start as a student, finish as a CEO! Students ages 11 to 18 and in grades six through 12 are eligible to apply. This program offers students the chance to:
  • Develop hands-on entrepreneurial experience to launch their own business or social movement
  • Connect with local entrepreneurs
  • Pitch to a panel of investors for startup funding
  • Gain confidence in their ideas, abilities and presentation skills
We offer two easy ways to apply:
Apply online.

Print out, complete and submit your application

If you are interested in YEA!, but would like more information, please click here to fill out this form.


Get Involved
Share your business wisdom with aspiring young entrepreneurs and help them get started on the path to success! We’re seeking expert professionals to volunteer their time as guest speakers, mentors, investors, graphic designers, field trip hosts, business plan reviewers, and more. The time YEA! students spend with adults who encourage their futures is invaluable, and you can play an important role in guiding our future leaders.

If you are interested in getting involved with YEA! and being inspired by your community’s great young minds, contact Kathy Cardwell by email at kcardwell@elkhart.org or phone at (574)293-1531 x122.
 
 
Local Sponsors
A big thank you to our sponsors, who have helped bring YEA! to Elkhart. 
   

 
      
 
YEA! USA is made possible by the Kauffman Foundation, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the E. Philip Saunders Foundation. We also thank our national supporters, Sam’s Club and Southwest Airlines.
 
Success Stories
2015 YEA! Graduate: Matthew McDonough
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xid_U4mj_Po
2014 YEA! Graduate Feature in Elkhart Truth’s 2015 Business & Industry Magazine, under local leaders: Samantha Shank http://ww1.elkharttruth.com/digitalmagazines/BI2015/Cover_1.html
2014 YEA! Graduates: Hannah Shank & Samantha Shank
http://www.elkharttruth.com/news/business/2014/05/07/Young-entrepreneurs-ready-to-market-ideas.html
 
Click below to see why students nationwide participate in YEA!
 
Watch 2015 Saunders Scholars Video
YEA! Student Feature in Entrepreneur Magazine
Contact Us
For more information, call 574-293-1531 ext. 122 or e-mail Kathy Cardwell at kcardwell@elkhart.org.
Like Us on Facebook, click on link:
https://www.facebook.com/YEAElkhart?ref=tn_tnmn


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