Chamber Foundation's Young Entrepreneurs Academy Receives Award at Career Education Conference

February 6, 2017

The Michigan Chamber Foundation’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) received accolades from the Eaton Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) for helping the agency to create real-world experiences for high school students as they prepare for a career in business. Eaton RESA and the Michigan Chamber Foundation received the Career and College Readiness Initiative Excellence in Practice Award for its Business Academy Program at the Michigan Career Education Conference held last week in Detroit. 

At the conference, Eaton RESA Superintendent Cindy Anderson thanked the Michigan Chamber Foundation for collaborating with the agency to provide a relevant and rigorous business education for RESA Career Preparation Center students. “Strong business partnerships like this are essential to preparing our students for success and developing entrepreneurial talent to support our local economy,” Anderson said. 

The Michigan Chamber Foundation’s YEA! program teaches high school students to “make a job, not just take a job” and networks them with local business leaders, entrepreneurs, and resources to give them a head start in business. Each student participates in a minimum of three rounds of start-up funding presentations, including local pitch competitions, investor panels, and a tradeshow. Over fifty students currently participate in the YEA! program.

Students have the opportunity to raise over $15,000 in start-up funding or educational scholarships through these competitions. In addition, one team from the class will have the opportunity to travel to Rochester, New York to compete in the National YEA! Saunders Scholarship Competition. 

The Michigan Chamber Foundation’s YEA! program was launched in the fall of 2015. Twelve Lansing-area high school students, representing 10 new Lansing-area businesses, were awarded $5,000 to launch their businesses last spring and summer. 

For more information on the Michigan Chamber Foundation’s YEA! program, including engagement and sponsorship opportunities, please visit or contact Bob Thomas at or (517) 371-7639.