Classes start in November

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a ground-breaking program established in 2004 that transforms middle and high school students into skilled entrepreneurs who create and run actual businesses. It is being presented for the first time in California by the Clovis Chamber of Commerce.

YEA! has graduated more than 900 students over the past 9 years, who have started over 550 businesses and social movements. 100% of YEA! students complete high school on time and 99% enroll in college having an advantage with the YEA! credentials on their applications.

Over the course, YEA! students will:

  • Brainstorm business ideas
  • Write a business plan
  • Interact with business professionals
  • Pitch their business plan to potential "investors" (think Shark Tank meets the Apprentice meets American Idol)
  • Obtain funding
  • Legally register their businesses
  • Participate in a Trade Show
  • Actually launch their own businesses or social movements

In addition to learning the ins-and-outs of running a business, YEA! students gain long lasting skills that will impact many areas of their lives:

  • Self-confidence
  • Proficiency in writing and comprehension abilities
  • Critical thinking, a skill required by many employers
  • Advanced financial literacy
  • Public Speaking capabilities
  • Learn performance skills including how to interview for and get a job

Classes will meet on Tuesdays from November through April at the Willow International Community College. There are no classes during regular school holidays and recesses. Students are taught by an instructor, but also work with guest lecturers, successful entrepreneurs and business mentors. The class goes on field trips to a variety of local businesses and participates in three major events throughout the year: the Investor Panel, Trade Show and a formal graduation ceremony.

To apply for YEA!:

  • Fill out the YEA! application
  • Complete the essay and the short answer questions
  • Submit your transcripts
  • Submit a letter of recommendation
  • Submit your $10 application fee

Once the completed application packet is received, students will be asked to come in for an interview. Acceptance in the program is based on submissions and the personal interview. Prior experience with business is not required.

Click on the links below and visit Young Entrepreneurs Academy on YouTube to see other programs in action.

Business professionals - Do you have a passion for business and would like to pass that along to the next generation? Then consider working with the students in YEA! You can volunteer for one hour as a guest speaker, 1 1/2 hours a week for 7 weeks as a mentor, host a field trip, help design web sites and logos or help present an event. You will be changing a young person's life.

Sponsorships are still available to invest in YEA!. All funds will be used exclusively for the YEA! program and are paid to the Foundation for Regional Development, a 501©3 corporation. For more information, call 559 299-7363 or

YEA a Clovis Chamber of Commerce Program
September 11th, 2014

Young Entrepreneurs Academy

a Clovis Chamber of Commerce program
by Jean Murphy

Article appearing in upcoming Clovis Chamber Lifestyle & Resource Guide, a Town Square Publications, a Division of the Herald Times.

Chandler Warne was only a senior in high school, but this past school year he started his own business, complete with a business plan, state business license and outside funding.

The Buchanan High School graduate is now beta testing and continually improving his business's innovative software which is a location validation system that allows employers to know where their remotely-working…

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