Young Entrepreneurs Academy

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) teaches middle and high school go-getters how to start and run their own, REAL businesses.

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 Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce is excited to provide YEA! to our community.  The first class was held in our community in the 2013-14 academic year.

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 Trade Show
  • Launch and run their own business or social movement
  • Graduate from the program with lifelong leadership and business skills

Organization of Program

YEA! classes will meet from late October through March, for 2.5 hours weekly.  Classes are typically held on Mondays from 4-6:30 p.m. on the campus of Danville Community College.  Applications will be accepted from students in grades 6-12.

There are no classes during regular school holidays and recesses. Students are taught by an instructor, but are exposed to guest lecturers, successful entrepreneurs and business mentors. The class goes on field trips to a variety of local businesses. Finally, the students participate in three major events throughout the year: the Investor Panel, Trade Show and a formal graduation ceremony. 

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 business may apply for acceptance into the program by completing the application, which includes an essay and short-answer questions, school transcripts and letters 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 start-up funding
  • Gain confidence in their ideas, abilities, and presentation skills

For an application, click here.

Learn more about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy!

Young Entrepreneurs Academy - Danville and Pittsylvania County

Young Entrepreneurs Academy National Website

Young Entrepreneurs Academy Youtube Page.  See past students in Action!

YEA! Danville Pittsylvania County Facebook. Stay tuned For updates!