Young Entrepreneurs Academy Teaches Kids How to Be Business Owners

About the Academy

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) teaches middle and high school go-getters how to start and run their own, REAL businesses. 

Celebrating the Spirit of Enterprise and Innovation

Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA! has helped more than 4,000 students nationwide launch over 3,000 businesses and social movements.

Make a Job—Don’t Just Take a Job!

YEA! guides students through the process of fulfilling their very own American dream. By bridging the business and educational communities, students are taught by trained instructors, and are exposed to guest lecturers, successful entrepreneurs and mentors. Over the course of the program, students:

  • Brainstorm business ideas 
  • Write a business plan 
  • Interact with business professionals
  • Attend field trips for an behind-the-scenes look at local businesses
  • Pitch their business plan to local investors for startup funding and the opportunity to advance to regional and national competitions.
  • Legally register their businesses
  • Participate in a local YEA! Trade Show
  • Launch and run their own business or social movement
  • Graduate from the program with lifelong leadership and business skills

2017-2018 Class Calendar

YEA! classes meet November through May, for three hours weekly. There are no classes during regular school holidays and recesses. 

October 2017 Admitted Student & Parent Orientation
November 1, 2017  Weekly Classes Begin
March 2018  YEA! Investor Panel
April 2018 YEA! Trade Show
TBD Regional Competition (If Selected)
TBD National Competition (If Selected)
May 2018  Graduation

*Dates subject to change

Get Involved

Share your business wisdom with aspiring young entrepreneurs and help them get started on the path to success! We’re seeking expert professionals to volunteer their time as guest speakers, mentors, investors, graphic designers, field trip hosts, business plan reviewers, and more. The time YEA! students spend with adults who encourage their futures is invaluable, and you can play an important role in guiding our future leaders. View engagement opportunities.

If you are interested in getting involved with YEA! and being inspired by your community’s great young minds, contact Anita Lindsay at (517) 371-7671 or by email at


If you are interested in funding this program, please contact Bob Thomas at (517) 371-7639 or by email at for opportunities. 

Success Stories

Click below to see why students nationwide participate in YEA!

YEA! Student Feature in Entrepreneur Magazine

Contact Us

For more information, call (517) 371-7671 or email Anita Lindsay at