Young Entrepreneurs Alliance
YEA teaches teens from low-income families how to develop and operate their own businesses right in their schools. Along the way they learn not only how to be successful entrepreneurs, but how to be successful people, as well. Every skill we teach is a life lesson. For YEA graduates, doors open—to college, to meaningful employment, to financial independence, to a wonderful future.
YEA was founded on the belief that low-income, at-risk teens need five opportunities and skills in order to succeed: • Access to paid work • Professional networking skills and opportunities • Job-readiness skills • College-readiness skills • Self-esteem
Just as important, YEA believes that at-risk teens are no different than more fortunate young people: they have innate, marketable talents. By turning those talents into business ventures, teens get a head start toward financial success and, if they choose, college.
They win, their families win, their communities win.
YEA works in middle schools and vocational high schools to apply academic lessons to student-operated businesses. We help students decide what type of businesses can take best advantage of their talents and education, then collaborate closely with teachers as the businesses are developed and operated. YEA’s staff teaches students business skills, trains the teachers to supervise the businesses, and provides ongoing consultation.
YEA's businesses are structured much like major corporations. Every student has a job function, students work as a coordinated team and more experienced teens serve as team leaders or project managers.
YEA is just 6 years old, yet YEA alumni are already developing successful careers, and a growing number have become mentors and consultants to current YEA student businesses. The YEA Model is broadly applicable and in very high demand, and YEA is poised for significant near-term growth.