The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a year-long program that teaches middle and high 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.  The Meridian Chamber of Commerce is excited to be introducing YEA! to the Meridian Community!


YEA! guides high 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 2013, YEA! has graduated 1,394 students who have started over 1,000 businesses and social movements!  YEA! graduates started as students, and left 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

Website |Online Student Nomination Form
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