Photo courtesy of the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce
Funding from a variety of community sources, such as DTE Energy, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Del Taco of Dearborn Heights have helped to make the YEA! program a success for dozens of students in the Dearborn area.
DEARBORN — Dozens of young entrepreneurs from metropolitan Detroit will share their pioneering and progressive business plans and social movement ideas in a unique and innovative Investor Panel as a part of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy at 6 p.m. April 9 at the Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave.
The event is free and open to the public.
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy, hosted by the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce, and made possible in part by grants from DTE Energy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is an educational program that takes students in grades 6 through 12 through the process of starting and running a real business.
Students work closely with local business leaders to cultivate and research business ideas, write a business plan, pitch their plan to a panel of investors (think “Shark Tank” meets “The Apprentice” meets “American Idol!”), obtain funding, develop their brand, participate in a trade show at the end of the year, and actually launch their enterprise.
Through the YEA! program, children 11 to 18 years old start as students and graduate as CEOs. They learn to make a job — not just take a job.
“We are looking forward to partnering with the Arab American National Museum to host our first Investor Panel with the students of our YEA! Program,” DACC President Jackie Lovejoy said. “Our first YEA! class consists of 22 of the brightest and most talented young entrepreneurs from across the metro Detroit area. I am excited to hear the ideas and business plans that have resulted from their hard work in this program.”
The program will consist of presentations by 12 student groups before a panel of six local business and community leaders who will have $6,000 of funding to “invest” into the presenting young entrepreneurs’ businesses. The investors will have the opportunity to ask each student team questions, to be followed by an investment decision, similar to the popular TV program “Shark Tank.” Each investor will have the opportunity to invest in several student groups, the only requirement being that they distribute all of the funds allocated to them by the conclusion of the program.
Immediately following the student business presentations, the investor panel will engage in private deliberations, which will be followed by an announcement of total award funding for each student group.
“This is an outstanding opportunity for our students to really demonstrate their talent and the achievements that have resulted from their hard work,” said YEA! Program Manager Wendy Fichter, who also is director of Small Business with the DACC. “This is an event that you will not want to miss. The ideas and dedication of these young entrepreneurs to our community will enhance the quality of life for our entire region.”
A meet-and-greet reception at 5:30 pm will precede the formal presentation portion of the program.
To register for this free event, go to www.dearbornareachamber.org or call 313-584-6100. For more information about the YEA! Program, go to www.yeausa.org.