INTRO: Did you know that some of the nation's wealthiest entrepreneurs got their start as teens? Microsoft's Bill Gates started a software company called Traf-O-Data at the age of 15. Television personality Oprah Winfrey, decided on a career in public speaking at the age of 12 after giving a speech at her church. Billionaire Richard Branson developed the idea behind what would become his Virgin business empire at the age of 16.
ISSUE/PROBLEM: A Gallop Organization Poll on the subject of youth entrepreneurship revealed that 70% of high school students today are strongly interested in owning their own business. Some 90% of students rate their knowledge of entrepreneurship as 'very poor' or only fair; 85% report that public education has taught them little or practically nothing about how business works and 75% of students desire more small business training. Local entrepreneurial talents, even when they lie latent and underdeveloped today (as youth) can lead to a brighter economic future.
ROLE: The Entrepreneur Cafe, LLC has long been committed to social good and is a proud supporter of youth entrepreneurship and the Young Entrepreneurs Program (YEP). YEP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to 'Nurturing A New Generation of Entrepreneurs' and helping young, aspiring entrepreneurs get an early start on small business success. The goals of the Young Entrepreneurs Program (YEP) are to:
- Provide real world small business experience to students of all cultural and economic backgrounds.
- Support the enterprise of youth that have a positive impact on the community.
- Encourage the dreams of youth through small business.
- Promote the discipline of entrepreneurship among youth.
- Provide youth with alternatives to unemployment, low paying jobs and destructive life choices.