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Building our next generation of leaders: Proudly Launching the Young Entrepreneurs Academy in Our Community

About the Academy

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) teaches middle and high school go-getters how to start and run their own, REAL businesses.
Celebrating the Spirit of Enterprise and Innovation
Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA! has helped more than 4,000 students nationwide launch over 3,000 businesses and social movements. The Harford County chapter is thrilled to have the opportunity to bring YEA! to our community and having graduated our inaugural class for the 2016-17 academic year, we are excited to bring the program to even greater heights for 2017-2018.

Make a Job—Don’t Just Take a Job!

YEA! guides students through the process of fulfilling their very own American dream. By bridging the business and educational communities students are taught by trained instructors, and are exposed to guest lecturers, successful entrepreneurs and mentors. Over the course of the program, students:

  • Brainstorm business ideas
  • Write a business plan
  • Interact with business professionals
  • Attend field trips for a behind-the-scenes look at local businesses
  • Pitch their business plan to local investors for startup funding and the opportunity to advance to regional and national competitions.
  • Legally register their businesses
  • Participate in a local YEA! Trade Show
  • Launch and run their own business or social movement
  • Graduate from the program with lifelong leadership and business skills


YEA! classes meet mid-October through May, for three hours weekly. Classes are held every Tuesday (with some exceptions) at the Harford County Public Library, Abingdon branch. There are no classes during regular school holidays and recesses.


08/15/2017        YEA! Information Session at 5:30pm at the Harford County Chamber of Commerce
09/21/2017        YEA! Information Session at 5:30pm at the Harford County Chamber of Commerce
10/03/2017        YEA! Information Session at 5:30pm at the Harford County Chamber of Commerce
10/06/2017        YEA! Harford County Application Deadline
10/17/2016        Admitted Student & Parent Orientation
10/24/2016        Weekly Classes Begin
TBD                    YEA! Investor Panel
TBD                    Graduation
TBD                    YEA! Trade Show
TBD                    Saunders National Competition

Student Selection Process

YEA! welcomes applications from all students in grades 6-12 who are between 11 and 18 years old. 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.



Start as a student, finish as a CEO! Students ages 11 to 18 and in grades six through 12 are eligible to apply. This program offers students the chance to:

  • Develop hands-on entrepreneurial experience to launch their own business or social movement
  • Connect with local entrepreneurs
  • Pitch to a panel of investors for startup funding
  • Gain confidence in their ideas, abilities and presentation skills

Apply online.


Get Involved

Share your business wisdom with aspiring young entrepreneurs and help them get started on the path to success! We’re seeking expert professionals to volunteer their time as guest speakers, mentors, investors, graphic designers, field trip hosts, business plan reviewers, and more. The time YEA! students spend with adults who encourage their futures is invaluable, and you can play an important role in guiding our future leaders.

If you are interested in getting involved with YEA! and being inspired by your community’s great young minds, contact the Harford County Chamber at 410-838-2020



YEA! USA is made possible by the Kauffman Foundation, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the E. Philip Saunders Foundation. We also thank our national supporters, Sam’s Club and Southwest Airlines.


Success Stories
Click below to see why students nationwide participate in YEA!
Watch 2015 Saunders Scholars Video

YEA! Student Feature in Entrepreneur Magazine


Contact Us
For more information, call 410-838-2020 or email Heather at