SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- YEA! Westfield (Union County) will collaborate with Union Catholic High School to offer state-of-the-art classroom space for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), an innovative program entering its fourth year in Scotch Plains this fall that transforms students in grades 6 through 12 into successful business owners.

YEA! is a groundbreaking program that takes students ages 11 to 18 through the process of starting and launching a real business or social movement over the course of an academic year. Students brainstorm business ideas, write business plans, pitch to investors for startup funding, register their companies with governmental agencies, and launch their own business or social movement. Students also have the opportunity to compete for college scholarships in regional and national business pitch competitions.

Successful business executives and local entrepreneurs across a variety of industries are invited to support YEA! students throughout the fun, hands-on and experiential curriculum as business mentors or guest lecturers. In addition, both large and small businesses can volunteer to serve as a field trip host.

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“One of the most interesting components of YEA! is the knowledge that our local business leaders can share with students,” said Gene Jannotti, Executive Director of the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce (GWACC). “We encourage local business leaders to become involved with the program and to act as mentors to the budding entrepreneurs.”

For more information about how to receive a YEA! application,  contact ProgramMgr@yeawestfield.org or call the GWACC office at (908) 233-3021.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a 501(C) 3 offering groundbreaking year-long classes that teach middle and high school students how to start and run their own businesses. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors for startup funds, and launch and run their own, fully formed companies and social movements.