Junior Achievement USA (JA) announced today that it will be teaming up with Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the week of November 16th to bring Millennial entrepreneurs into high school classrooms across the U.S. to share their experience with up to 10,000 young people. This is the inaugural year for this national initiative coinciding with National Entrepreneurship Month in November. The intent is to grow this initiative into the largest in-classroom, peer-to-peer entrepreneurship mentoring effort in the U.S. Participating cities this year include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta.
JA is the world’s leading nonprofit education organization dedicated to entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy. YEC is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs age 40 and under. Members of YEC include Ryan Holmes of Hootsuite, Brad Hunstable of Ustream and Kim Kaupe and Brittany Hodak of ZinePak.
“JA is known for bringing entrepreneurship education into the classroom,” said Jack Kosakowski, President and CEO of Junior Achievement USA. “What makes this initiative different is that it is an intensive experience designed specifically for today’s up-and-coming business owner who might not otherwise have time in his or her busy day to engage as a mentor to young people. Partnering with YEC on this effort is a critical step in engaging millennial entrepreneurs in this process.”
"We are excited to partner with JA in order to bring our members' stories, experiences and expertise into classrooms across the U.S.," said Scott Gerber, founder and CEO of YEC. "As a result of this partnership, our community members will be able to make a direct, unprecedented impact on tomorrow's young entrepreneurs. This year represents the beginning of a mutual effort to grow this program into the largest in-classroom peer-to-peer entrepreneurship mentoring initiative in the nation."
Research conducted by JA shows that while young people look up to entrepreneurs such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and music impresario Jay-Z, today’s teens may be more risk averse than previous generations and are seeking out mentors and role models to help them gain a better understanding of how to plan for the future. JA believes it is important to provide young people with an opportunity to engage with entrepreneurs, through organizations such as YEC, to help them better understand the challenges and benefits of starting a business.