The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce held the annual Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Trade Show last Saturday, where our eleventh class officially revealed their business products and services to the public. This marks a very exciting milestone for our students in the program and the culmination of months of hard work and dedication, from envisioning their business ideas to debuting the final products and services to the community.

During this groundbreaking program, our YEA! students, grades 6 through 12, are taught by local entrepreneurs and experience field trips and guest lectures from successful business owners. The immersive program offers a diverse curriculum of activities, with hands-on, real world experiences such as field trips, networking with prominent business leaders, mentorships, opportunities to pitch their ideas to local investors.

In weekly classes, the students also participate in comprehensive lessons that take them through the process of starting a real business, including creating business plans, conducting market analysis, developing products and services, websites and e-commerce, managing media campaigns, crafting elevator pitches, obtaining funding and launching their ventures. At each step, students are encouraged to think critically and become more confident in their ideas, developing the necessary skills to become successful members of our business community.

With their graduation set for next week, our YEA! students are ready to complete the program and will be able to officially call themselves the CEOs of fully formed and functioning businesses. We have no doubt that this is only the beginning of their entrepreneurial journeys, and we are excited to see them join the ranks of previous local graduates of the program as successful members of our business community and future leaders.

Congratulations to these students!

Alison, CEO of Everything In Its Place

Cuzack, CEO of CB3D

Rusty, CEO of Rusty Metal

We encourage members of the community to come and join us in celebrating our YEA! students’ achievements and their official graduation from the program. We hope to see you there!

YEA! 2023-2024 Graduation

Tuesday, May 7 | 6:00 pm at Maverick Innovation Center

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy, originally founded at the University of Rochester, focuses on driving innovation, creating opportunities for youth to network, view the world in new ways, take risks and create meaningful enterprises. Seeing the value, the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce brought the Young Entrepreneurs Academy to Grand Junction, where we have graduated over 80 YEA! students over the last decade and counting, many who are now contributing members to our business community.

We have also had the privilege of working alongside community partners, business leaders, investors, instructors, volunteers and guest speakers who have helped to make the program a continuing success. If you would like to become more involved in the Grand Junction Young Entrepreneurs Academy, such as volunteer as a guest speaker, contact the Chamber at The Grand Junction Chamber is looking forward to the future and the next class of budding entrepreneurs who will begin their own odyssey to owning and operating their businesses.

Applications are currently open for the YEA! class of 2025!

For more information and to apply, click here.

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