Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!)
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a groundbreaking, 30-week program that transforms middle and high school students into real entrepreneurs. Over the course of the program, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors, obtain funding, and then actually launch and run their own legally-registered, fully-formed companies. Classes meet after school one day a week from November through May at our University Partner, Marymount University.
The Arlington Chamber’s YEA! curriculum includes:
The Arlington Chamber’s YEA! curriculum includes:
- Work with Arlington business professionals to develop ideas and create an actual business plan and presentation.
- CEO Roundtable (Feb. 23, 2017) – Students meet with local CEOs to learn what it takes to launch and operate a successful business.
- Investor Panel Event (March 30, 2017) – Students pitch their business plan to a “Shark Tank” panel of investors made up of members of the local business community, who decide which students receive funding to launch their business or social movement.
- Media Meet & Greet (May 17, 2017) – Local reporters and public relations professionals speak with students about how media coverage can help their business and how to earn that coverage.
- YEA! Trade Show (May 18, 2017) – Students demonstrate and sell their business or product during the Trade Show, hosted by the Ballston BID in Welburn Square near the Ballston Metro Station. The Trade Show is free and open to the public!
- Graduation Ceremony (May 2017)
"I think that YEA! is an amazing opportunity that teaches you not only how to start a business, but the important skills that you'll need later in life, such as public speaking and building connections. ... Throughout my life, I have been enrolled in many after-school programs, but by far YEA! is the most useful and rewarding program that I've ever attended." - Laura Canseco, 2016 YEA! Graduate
Read more about Laura's experience here.
Apply to YEA!
Are you ready to be your own boss? Do you have a great business idea but don’t know how to pursue it? If your answer to either of these questions is yes, then YEA! is right for you. YEA! gives students ages 11-18 the chance to launch their own business or social movement and learn valuable skills that will be key to success in their careers. Take advantage of this hands-on opportunity to make your dreams and ideas a reality and apply today!
To apply for YEA!, students are required to:
• Complete and submit the YEA! application, including the essay and short answer questions
• Submit transcripts
• Submit a letter of recommendation
The completed application packet must be submitted to Alex Held at email@example.com by the application deadline of Friday, October 7. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Once the application packet is received, students will be asked to come in for an interview. Acceptance into the program is based on all aspects of an application, as well as the personal interview. Students are not required to live or go to school in Arlington to be accepted to the program.
Questions? View our FAQs. You may also find additional details about the program are available on the national YEA! website.
We're looking for volunteers who mean business.
YEA! offers our members a variety of opportunities to engage with students and share their experience and talents with these budding entrepreneurs. This includes mentoring the students through developing their business plans. Graphic designers also have the opportunity to help create the branding and web presence for a student business startup.
There are many other available opportunities to get involved, including volunteering as a mentor or a CEO roundtable panelist or joining the YEA! Booster Committee.
For a full list of volunteer opportunities, check out the Community Engagement Packet. Contact Alex Held at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
A great way to show your support for the business leaders of tomorrow is by sponsoring or donating to the YEA! program.
This program is a prime representation of the Chamber's overall mission: to foster an economic environment in which local businesses can thrive so that Arlington may be a better place for all who work, live, and do business here.
As a Chamber member, you have the opportunity to align your business with the program as a sponsor through personal involvement and a financial contribution. Your generous support will directly transform local students into real business owners, and entrepreneurial success stories, strengthen our business and educational communities, and secure the next generation of business leaders.
You can find more information about all of the available sponsorship opportunities here. For questions regarding sponsorships, contact Mike Rosenow at email@example.com or (703) 525-2400.
Do you know a young entrepreneur who might be a good fit for the program? Let us know! Applications from creative, determined, and enthusiastic middle and high school students interested in social or business entrepreneurship are currently being accepted. Complete and submit a student nomination form and encourage students to apply today!
Students are not required to live or attend school in Arlington County, but must be able to attend class in Arlington one day a week from 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Interested students should complete the YEA! student application before the final deadline of October 7, 2016.
Please send the completed application packet to Alex Held at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The YEA! experience is immensely rewarding for mentors and students alike. As a mentor, I learned as much as I taught and found myself continually inspired by a remarkable group of young entrepreneurs." - Greta Menard, YEA! Business Mentor
Hear two YEA! graduates speak about their businesses on WERA 96.7 FM's radio show, Arlington Women Entrepreneurs (AWE).
Thank you to the following Sponsors: