What is YEA?
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!)
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. Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy today serves thousands of students in communities across America.
The program is hosted by the Tucson Hispanic Chamber Foundation in Southern Arizona.
For more information, contact our YEA Program Manager Stephanie Bermudez at firstname.lastname@example.org
OnlineAbout the Academy
- Student Selection Process
- Get Involved
- Success Stories
- Contact Us
Building our next generation of leaders with the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. We’re pleased to offer this inspirational program for aspiring entrepreneurs in our community. Apply now!
About the Academy
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) teaches middle and high school go-getters how to start and run their own, REAL businesses. Learn more
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 Tucson Hispanic Chamber Foundation is excited to introduce YEA! to our community with its inaugural class for the 2016-17 academic year.
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
YEA! classes meet November through May, on Mondays from 4:00pm - 7:00pm (three hours weekly). There are no classes during regular school holidays and recesses.
July 1st, 2016 Early Acceptance
September 30, 2016 Final Applications Accepted
October 2016 Admitted Student & Parent Orientation
October 2016 Weekly Classes Begin
April 2017 YEA! Investor Panel
May 2017 YEA! Trade Show
May 2017 Regional Competition (if selected)
May 2017 National Competition (if selected)
May 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.
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
Print out, complete and submit your application
Online Nomination form - click here
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 Stephanie Bermudez at Stephanie@TucsonHispanicChamber.org.
A big thank you to our sponsors, who have helped bring YEA! to Tucson, Arizona including:
Tucson Unified School District
The University of Arizona
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.
Click below to see why students nationwide participate in YEA!
Watch 2015 Saunders Scholars Video
YEA! Student Feature in Entrepreneur Magazine
For more information, call 520-620-0005 or e-mail Stephanie Bermudez at Stephanie@TucsonHispanicChamber.org