The Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce (www.thechamber.org) in partnership with the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!™) and Utah County Academy of Sciences (UCAS) today announced it is sponsoring in Utah Valley the YEA! Educational program, which takes participating students in grades six through 12 through the process of starting and running a real business. Applications are now open for students who want to participate.
During the program, students work closely with local business leaders to cultivate and research business ideas, write a business plan, pitch their plan to a panel of investors – similar to the Shark Tank TV show – obtain funding, develop their brand, participate in a trade show at the end of the year, and actually launch their enterprise. YEA! literally helps student entrepreneurs become business owners and operators.
To participate, students in grades six through 12 with their parents need to fill out an application. Prior business experience is not required. The deadline for applications is Aug. 1. The after school program will be held at UCAS on the Utah Valley University campus on Thursdays from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm. The YEA! academic year begins in Oct. and ends in May. In addition, students will need to:
- Provide a current school transcript.
- Provide a letter of recommendation written by a teacher, guidance counselor, religious or community leader.
- Provide a written essay.
- Pay a $10 application fee.
- Participate in a personal interview.
“We are very excited to participate in the national movement to make experiential entrepreneurship education available to youth all across our country by bringing YEA! to Utah,” said Donna Milakovic, executive vice president of Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce. “Programs such as this help students sharpen their entrepreneurial spirits by teaching them what they need to know to take their ideas from concept to real businesses.”
The program will be implemented through local schools including higher education institutions.
“The entire community is on board with our school’s plans to launch the program this fall,” said Cameron Martin of Utah Valley University. “We are urging all local business leaders to become involved with the program and act as mentors to these student entrepreneurs.”
By partnering with YEA!, both large and small companies volunteer their time and services as mentors, to host field trips, lecture and provide other helpful services such as graphic design, web development, legal council etc.
“In the nine years we have offered the YEA! program, I have had the pleasure of seeing hundreds of students start their own enterprises,” said Gayle Jagel, founder and CEO of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. “It’s amazing to see how powerful it is to instill an entrepreneurial mindset in a young person and watch how the lessons they learn in YEA! translate not only to a successful business career, but a successful transition to adulthood and the makings for a fulfilling, successful life.”
More information about YEA! is available on the Utah Valley Chamber YEA Facebook page.