Young Entrepreneurs Academy

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a groundbreaking and exciting school-year-long class that transforms middle and high school students into real, confident entrepreneurs. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors, and actually launch and run their own real, legal, fully-formed companies and social movements. Complete with dynamic guest speakers from the local business community and exciting behind-the-scenes trips to local companies, the fun, projects-based YEA! approach empowers students to take charge of their futures in a profound way.

Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy today serves thousands of students across America. In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce® Foundation became a national sponsor and partner of the Academy to help celebrate the spirit of enterprise among today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders.

In Macon, YEA! is presented by the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce, Mercer University's Innovation Center and SparkMacon.  There are also many local sponsors whose investments are making the program possible in Macon.   Click here for the Press Release announcing the program's launch in Macon.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy is not only a wonderful tool to teach students about business, but also a great way to build confident leaders with values. By bridging the business and educational communities, students are taught by trained instructors and are exposed to guest lectureres, successful entrepreneurs and mentors. 

Over the course of the program, students will learn how to:
Brainstorm business ideas
Write a business plan
Interact with business professionals
Pitch their business plan to potential “investors” (think “Shark Tank”!)
Obtain funding
Legally register their businesses
Participate in a Trade Show
Actually launch their own businesses or social movements

Benefits to the Community:
Develop educated, motivated workforce and the next generation of CEOs
Generate excitement in the community
Create professional networks for students
Connect students and business professionals
Connect educators and administrators with business professionals
A fun and unique opportunity for business professionals to mentor youth
Foster business and job creation in the area

Click here to download the YEA! Macon Overview (19M), which includes
        -  Program Overview
        -  Student Success Stories
        -  Community Volunteer Opportunities

Click here to download YEA! Macon FAQ.

Tuition for Program Year:  $695 per student,
      *Need-based financial assistance available in the amount of $500
      *Scholarship applications will be sent to students upon completion
           of their application and interview.

Applications for the 2017-18 class year will begin being accepted on June 1st.  Thank you!

For more information:
Contact Program Manager, Nadia Osman via email:
                  or by phone: 478-361-1313.

Click here for the YEA! Macon Facebook page with lots of great posts and info about this first year of YEA!

Click here for a video of a YEA! graduate from another market who went on to be featured on "Shark Tank".

Click here for a video of a YEA! graduate from another market who turned down $30 Million for his vending machine start-up!

Calendar for 2016-17 Class Year
YEA! Macon classes will meet from October 2016 through May 2017, from 4:30 - 7:30 PM, excluding school holidays, at Mercer University's Innovation Center.  For a detailed schedule, click here.      

Student Selection Process
YEA! welcomes applications from all students in grades 6 - 12 who are between 11 and 18 years old, attending public, private and home schools in Macon-Bibb County.   Students interested in starting their own, real businesses may apply for acceptance into the program by completing the application, which includes an essay and short-answer questions, school transcripts and letter of recommendation.  Once the completed application is received, students may be invited to attend an in-person interview.   Acceptance into the program is based on all aspects of the completed application as well as the personal interview.  Prior business experience is not required, nor is it required to have a business idea prior to the start of class.     

The application process is closed for the 2016-17 class year.  Please check back in the spring of 2017 if you are interested in applying for the        2017-18 class year.  Thank you!

Kumho Tire
Butler Automotive Group
The Easter Family Fund
Walthall Oil Company
Miller-Motte Technical College
Progressive Consulting Technologies 
Greer Financial Group
Rivoli Realty
Hold Your Haunches
Central Piedmont Investment Group
Four Seasons of Georgia
Renfroe Outdoor Advertising

Economy Rent A Car & Sales, Inc.
The Business Education Partnership
Georgia Power Company
Mount de Sales Academy
Stratford Academy
Tattnall Square Academy
Freudenberg Performance Materials

Renfroe Outdoor Advertising