Bridge to Business Program
In the early 2000’s, Keith Lewis, the founder of Youth America, Inc., recognized a need amongst local youth for opportunities to develop entrepreneurial skills and business literacy. At the same time, he also identified fashion as an important facet of the growing creative industries which have increasingly attracted the attention and interest of youth. Drawing upon his background in retail and accounting, he developed a plan for a social purpose business that would provide young people with practical workplace experience.
Bridge to Business was thus launched in 2004 as an entrepreneurship, job-readiness program that provides minority and other underserved youth with cutting-edge training in fashion retail through paid internships in the B2 women’s clothing boutique. Located in Fort Greene in the heart of the Fulton Area Business Improvement District, B2 is a veritable “fashion business lab” where aspiring entrepreneurs develop sales, merchandising, and marketing expertise as well as practical experience managing a small business.
FASHION RETAIL INTERNSHIPS
Internships through the Bridge to Business program are based on the classic, time-tested concept of apprenticeship, with focus on the development of skills in three critical areas: Small Business Management, Visual Merchandising, and Trade Show Buying. Under the guidance of the Store Manager, interns research fashion industry trends, analyze sales and inventory data, develop knowledge of bookkeeping, assist in store promotions and hone their customer service and interpersonal skills. Interns also receive workshops on the art and science of product placement and display, and have the opportunity to shadow the store’s Buyer at trade shows. The Bridge to Business Program is currently accepting applications from college students for its new Marketing Internship Module, during which interns will learn about the implementation of internet marketing strategies for the new B2 Online Store initiative to be launched this summer.
For more details about our program and applying for internships, please visit our site: www.bridge2business.org