The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to go into its third year of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Our chamber is the first and only organization to host a YEA! program in North Dakota and one of few in the entire Midwest. In our program’s first two years, we’ve already seen several incredible young students launch real and successful businesses.
Now, YOU can be a part of this exciting program too! We’re currently accepting applications for students, who will work closely with business leaders, community leaders and entrepreneurs to guide them as they learn to transform ideas into real, tangible companies that create economic and social value.
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The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) teaches high school students how to start and run their own REAL businesses. YEA! was developed at the University of Rochester in 2004 with the support of a grant from the Kauffman Foundation. The Chamber is excited to be introducing YEA! to the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Community.
YEA! guides high school students through the process of starting and running a legitimate business or social movement over the course of a full academic year. As of 2014, YEA! has graduated over 2,000 students who have started more than 1,700 businesses and social movements, YEA! graduates started as students, and left the program as CEOs of their own companies.
YEA! classes will meet October through May, for three hours weekly. Applications will be accepted from students in grades 6-12.
There are no classes during regular school holidays and recesses. Students are taught by an instructor, and are exposed to guest lecturers, successful entrepreneurs and business mentors. The class goes on field trips to a variety of local businesses. Finally, the students participate in three major events throughout the year: the Investor Panel, Trade Show and a formal graduation ceremony.
To apply for YEA!, students must:
Once the completed application packet is received, students will be asked to come in for an interview. Acceptance in the program is based on all aspects of an application, as well as the personal interview. Prior experience with business is not required.
Through their interactions with business professionals during the year, YEA! students gain some of the most important knowledge and experience they need to succeed. Local professionals volunteer their time and expertise as guest speakers, mentors, investors, graphic designers, field trip hosts, business plan reviewers and much more. The time YEA! students spend with adults who encourage their futures is invaluable, and participants often report getting even more out of their participation than they put in to it.
If you are interested in becoming involved with YEA! as a guest speaker, fieldtrip host, or volunteer, contact Katie Ralston at 218.359.0511 or email email@example.com.