Chamber Launches New Business Academy for Adolescents

Chamber Launches New Business Academy for Adolescents

Business growth in Loudoun comes in all shapes and sizes. Starting this fall the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce and Loudoun Economic Development Authority are launching an entrepreneurship and business training program that will connect local business owners and leaders with middle and high school aged students.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a program that partners with more than 100 local Chambers of Commerce in 39 states to provide hands-on entrepreneurial training to students in grades 6 through 12. The program is designed to help them formulate, develop and launch their own their first business venture and organization.

The national program was developed at the University of Rochester in 2004, with the support of a grant from the Kauffman Foundation, and today partners with the U.S, Chamber of Commerce to engage local chambers.
More than 4,500 students have been part of the YEA! program and those students have gone on to create more than 3,000 businesses and organizations.

“To be a successful entrepreneur requires a wide variety of skills and experience, assets that translate to any course of study or career path,” said chamber president Tony Howard, “The Loudoun Chamber and the Loudoun Economic Development Authority are proud to launch the Young Entrepreneurs Academy to help Loudoun students translate the knowledge gained in the classroom into real businesses or social movements to affect change in their community.”

The Loudoun chapter of YEA! will launch this October at the Mason Enterprise Center in Leesburg. Events include weekly classes, field trips guest speakers, a trade show and a pitch event where the student entrepreneurs pitch their business plan to an Investment Panel for funding.

The program runs from November 2016 to May 2017. At the end of the program the students will have a legally registered business.

Dusty Smith
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