The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a groundbreaking and exciting school year long class that transforms middle and high school students into real, confident entrepreneurs. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors, and actually launch and run their own real, legal, fully formed companies and social movements. Complete with dynamic guest speakers from the local business community and exciting behind-the-scenes trips to local companies, the fun, projects-based YEA! approach empowers students to take charge of their futures in a profound way.

Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy today serves thousands of students across America. In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce® Foundation became a national sponsor and partner of the Academy to help celebrate the spirit of enterprise among today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy is not only a wonderful tool to teach students about business, but also a great way to build confident leaders with values. An excellent instrument to unify the business and educational communities, YEA! continues to expand across the country to fulfill our mission of teaching more students how to make a job, not just take a job.

Over the course of the program, students:

  • Brainstorm business ideas
  • Write a business plan
  • Interact with business professionals
  • Pitch their business plan to potential “investors” (think ABC’s “Shark Tank”!)
  • Obtain funding
  • Legally register their businesses
  • Participate in a Trade Show
  • Actually launch their own businesses or social movements

The YEA! program is not a school activity and is not associated with the West Ada School District. However, the District is fully supportive of the program and provides facility, communication and school interaction support.

The YEA! program is a business activity, sponsored by the Meridian Chamber of Commerce. Student entrepreneurs will act and work on their own behalf . Students will be expected to work closely with their families on calendar and legal issues.

Benefits to the Community:

  • Develop educated, motivated workforce and the next generation of CEOs
  • Generate excitement in the community
  • Create professional networks for students
  • Connect students and business professionals
  • Encourage students to stay in the area
  • Connect educators and administrators with business professionals
  • A fun and unique opportunity for business professionals to mentor youth
  • Foster business and job creation in the area

Tuition: $495 for the year

There are scholarships available for up to $250 per student. You must fill out an application. Link below.


Orientation Night for Parents & Students: Monday, Oct. 24 6:30 pm

First Class: Tuesday, Oct. 25  4-7 pm

YEA! FAQ’s Sheet

Apply Now!

Online Student Interest Form

Paper Student Application  (to be printed –  you may have to click on ‘view or open’ and then ‘enable editing’ to make sure the document opens properly.)

Read the first page carefully and gather the needed information so you can fill out the application completely. Your application cannot be processed until all information and the application fee are received.

Student Scholarship Application  (you may have to click on ‘view or open’ and then ‘enable editing’ to make sure the document opens properly.)

Online Nomination Form  (educators/community partners)


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