Young Entrepreneurs Academy coming to Salisbury

The Chamber of Commerce in Salisbury, Md., is opening up the Young Entrepreneurs Academy to students in grades 6 through 12, beginning this fall, Delmarva Now reports.

Some of the skills students learn are those of CEOs at larger corporations:

  • Developing a business plan
  • Pitching to a panel of investors and obtaining funding
  • Managing media campaigns, e-commerce, and Web development
  • Working sales events and trade shows

The YEA also provides business mentors and guest speakers to help kids learn the ropes of getting into business. But it’s not all theory in a classroom: they also visit businesses in the area and learn firsthand what they might expect.

The program, developed at the University of Rochester in 2004 with grants from the Kauffman Foundation, has had great success, mainly because it gives students guidance on applying what they have learned to the real world. Many of them keep the companies they started going after they graduate from high school, whether or not they were running the one business plan the panel of investors decides to fund.

The program will work out of Salisbury University’s Perdue School of Business, meeting on Tuesday evenings. It’ll cost $295 for the nine-month program, but that should be viewed in relation to the money-making potential students will develop in the program.

But there’s more than money involved with YEA.

“What {YEA] provides [kids] with is a foundational understanding and, most importantly, a belief that there’s an opportunity to become an entrepreneur,” says David Koretz, president and CEO of Bluetie, in the video.

That belief—that confidence—goes a long way.

“I used to be shy, and they taught us how to greet people,” says program member Aniruddah Patel. “That has really changed the way I talk to people, and that’s a great skill that I’ve learned.”

“The biggest change I’ve seen in myself from going through he Young Entrepreneurs Academy has been a change in confidence,” says XXX. “Events like the investors panel—having to get up there and speak in front of all these different cameras and hundreds of people. Once you do it, you realize, hey, I can do this.”

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Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.