Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Chicago is a groundbreaking and exciting program that transforms local middle and high school students into real, confident entrepreneurs. Through the six-month long program, students in grades 6-12 generate business ideas, conduct market research, write business plans, pitch to a panel of investors, and launch their very own companies. It's a truly transformative experience for every student who steps into this incredible opportunity.
Seeing the need for a program that promotes the capabilities of young women to be future business leaders, co-founders Emily Smith and Lori Hilson Cioromski saw an opportunity to bring the Young Entrepreneurs Academy program to Chicago.
Since its inception in 2014, YEA! Chicago has had over 108 students come through the program. Now in its sixth year, it is the only all-girls chapter in the nation and has grown in size and network, with plans to expand its reach. If you'd like to learn more about the direct impact YEA! has had on our students, click below.
Develop and deliver experience-based entrepreneurship programs to young people to:
To be a leader in establishing innovative, experiential entrepreneurship programs for middle and high school students, delivering these programs through colleges and universities, and in high schools and middle schools throughout the country.
In close cooperation with local community and business leaders and their organizations, we partner with like-minded organizations to effectively deliver entrepreneurship education to young people across our nation. YEA! provides a focused introduction to the business world, combining a dynamic, proven curriculum with the experiences of local leaders of industry, community members, educators and entrepreneurs. The goal of all YEA! classes is for each student to successfully launch their own business.
Female Strong is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and the YEA! program is one of the programs offered. To learn about additional programs that are curated for middle school and high school girls all centered around closing the gender gap and impacting confidence, click below.