ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR YEA 2017!

To apply for YEA!, students must:
  • Fill out the YEA! application
  • Complete the essay and the short answer questions
  • Submit their transcripts
  • Submit a letter of recommendation
Once the completed application packet is received, students will be asked to come in for an interview. Acceptance in the program is based on all aspects of an application, as well as the personal interview. Prior experience with business is not required!



Background on Program

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a year-long program that teaches middle school students how to start and run their own REAL businesses.  YEA! was developed at the University of Rochester in 2004 with the support of a grant from the Kauffman Foundation, and can now be found in communities nationwide. The Lancaster Chamber of Commerce is excited to be introducing YEA! to the Lancaster Community!

YEA! guides middle school students through the process of starting and running a legitimate business or social movement over the course of a full academic year. As of 2014, YEA! has graduated 2,298 students who have started over 1,700 businesses and social movements!  YEA! graduates start as students, and leave the program as CEOs of their own companies!

Over the course of the program, students: 

Brainstorm business ideas
Write a business plan
Interact with business professionals
Pitch their business plan to potential “investors” (think ABC’s “Shark Tank”!)
Obtain funding

Legally register their businesses
Participate in a Trade Show
Actually launch their own businesses or social movements

Organization of Program

YEA! classes will meet October through May, for three hours weekly.    Applications will be accepted from students in grades 6-12.
There are no classes during regular school holidays and recesses. Students are taught by an instructor, but are exposed to guest lecturers, successful entrepreneurs and business mentors. The class goes on field trips to a variety of local businesses. Finally, the students participate in three major events throughout the year: the Investor Panel, Trade Show and a formal graduation ceremony.

How Business Professionals Get Involved

Through their interactions with business professionals during the year, YEA! students gain some of the most important knowledge and experience they need to succeed. Local professionals volunteer their time and expertise as guest speakers, mentors, investors, graphic designers, field trip hosts, business plan reviewers, and much more. The time YEA! students spend with adults who encourage their futures is invaluable, and participants often report getting even more out of their participation than they put in to it!

If you are interested in becoming involved with YEA! as a guest speaker, fieldtrip host, or volunteer, contact Sandy Smith at 661.948.4518 or email sharon@lancasterchamber.org.

YEA  Program Sponsors

A big thank you to our founding sponsors, who have helped bring YEA! to Lancaster, CA!

For more information, call 661.948.4518 or email sharon@lancasterchamber.org.