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About the Program

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a year-long program that teaches middle and high school students how to start and run their own REAL businesses. YEA! was developed at the University of Rochester in 2004 with the support of a grant from the Kauffman Foundation. The Greater Philadelphia Foundation for Women Entrepreneurs is excited to be introducing YEA! to the Greater Philadelphia Community!

YEA! guides high school students through the process of starting and running a legitimate business or social movement over the course of a full academic year. YEA! has graduated 4000 students over the past 11 years, who have started over 3000 businesses and social movements! YEA! graduates started as students, and left the program as CEOs of their own companies!

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 Shark Tank meets the Apprentice meets American Idol)
  • Obtain funding
  • Legally register their businesses
  • Participate in a Trade Show
  • Actually launch their own businesses or social movements

Now Accepting Applications for our 2015-16 Class!

Now Accepting Applications for the 2015-2016 Young Entrepreneurs Academy! Click here to apply.

Start as a student, finish as a CEO! Students ages 11 to 18 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

Download the 2015-2016 NAWBO-Philadelphia Application

Click here to become a 100 Founding Champion!

The Greater Philadelphia Foundation for Women Entrepreneurs (GPFWE) – Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Founding Champions Program will be offered to the first 100 individuals who contribute $1,000 each. This program is for individuals who wish to support YEA! in the Greater Philadelphia Region, as well as those who wish to honor an important person in their life. This program is not open to companies.

Click here to learn more.

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Ellen Fisher, Executive Director
P: 215-628-3875

YEA! is a leader

Watch our video to learn all about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy in just six minutes. You will be inspired! (We promise!)

Most Recent Articles

One of this year’s YEA! CEO Roundtable guests, Rick Forman of Forman Mills was featured on “Undercover BOSS” on CBS.

Posted by on Feb 7, 2015 in YEA! | Comments Off on One of this year’s YEA! CEO Roundtable guests, Rick Forman of Forman Mills was featured on “Undercover BOSS” on CBS.

‘Undercover’ opens Forman Mills boss’ eyes

By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer  |  POSTED:  January 21, 2015

Rick Forman was boiling over with anger and frustration.

Impatient customers were backed up at the register at the Forman Mills store in Totowa, N.J. The credit card processor was crawling, price tags were falling off garments, price checks were impossible. Hangers had overflowed the behind-the-register boxes and no one was available to pick them up.

“I was ready to explode,” Forman said. “I was ready to close the store down.”

Read Article.

Undercover Boss

View Video

The YEA! CEO Roundtable will be held at Rosemont College on Wed. March 4 at 6:30pm- 8:00pm at Rotwitt Theatre.

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Rosa’s Fresh Pizza featured on Ellen – and the YEA! CEO Roundtable

Posted by on Feb 2, 2015 in YEA! | Comments Off on Rosa’s Fresh Pizza featured on Ellen – and the YEA! CEO Roundtable

When Ellen heard about Mason Wartman’s pizza shop in Philadelphia, she was amazed. Mason has created a system that has helped feed thousands of hungry mouths. Check out his inspiring story.

Mason is continuing to give back to the community by participating on the YEA! CEO Roundtable to teach our next generation of entrepreneurs

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YEA! Class with the Investor Panel

Posted by on Mar 22, 2014 in YEA! | Comments Off on YEA! Class with the Investor Panel

YEA Philadephia 2014 class
THANK YOU for coming to support our Young Entrepreneurs. Our 1st Annual Investor Panel event for the Philadelphia Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) was held on March 19.

We watched with amazement as 10 kids, some as young as 11 years old, stood up and presented professional business plans to a panel of “grown up investors” in front of about 150 people in an auditorium that is large and gothic and Phantom-of-the-Opera-like (yes, its intimidating).

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Thank you to our YEA! Mentors

Posted by on Mar 12, 2014 in YEA! | Comments Off on Thank you to our YEA! Mentors

Special thanks to our business and community leaders for mentoring our Young Entrepreneurs and helping them prepare for their big night, March 19th where they pitch their business ideas to real live investors.

  • Bob Scanlon, West Chester University
  • Maria Driver Lee
  • Oria O’Shay
  • Kim Carter, Disaster Planning & Recovery
  • Phyllis Horn Epstein, Esq., Epstein, Sahpiro & Epstein
  • Susan Krawitz, Sissy Carpy Communications
  • Kevin McGarvey, ALL OUT Sealcoat
  • Mary Scheetz, CCCI
  • Surera Ward, Sure Messenger Solutions
  • Michael Kandravi, 401K Rollover Store
  • Jane Munroe, As You Wish Promotions
Read More

How Business Professionals Can Get Involved

Posted by on Jul 26, 2013 in YEA! | Comments Off on How Business Professionals Can Get Involved

Through their interactions with business professionals during the year, YEA! students gain some of the most important knowledge and experience they need to succeed. Local professionals volunteer their time and expertise as guest speakers, mentors, investors, graphic designers, field trip hosts, business plan reviewers, and much more. The time YEA! students spend with adults who encourage their futures is invaluable, and participants often report getting even more out of their participation than they put in to it!

If you are interested in becoming involved with YEA! as a guest speaker, fieldtrip host, or volunteer, contact Ellen Fisher at 215-628-3875 or email

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