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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 1394 students over the past 9 years, who have started over 1000 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


The 2014-15 YEA! Program is underway.
Here are some important dates:

  • 3/4/15: CEO Roundtable(We invite CEO’s from the community to tell their stories and give students the opportunity to ask questions)
  • 4/22/15: Investor Panel (This is when the students actually pitch their businesses to a panel of investors)
  • 5/13/15: Media Meet & Greet (We invite members of the media to address the students and share the students share their business ideas)
  • 5/16/2015: Trade Show Event at Haverford Area YMCA (Students officially launch their businesses and show their products and services.)
  • 5/27/2015: Graduation!

    Transform Ideas, Create Value, Be Entrepreneurial!

  • Contact

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

    Become a GPFWE-YEA! 100 Founding Champion

    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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    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

    ‘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.

    Read More

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

    Posted by on Feb 2, 2015 in YEA! | Comments Off

    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

    Read More

    YEA! Class with the Investor Panel

    Posted by on Mar 22, 2014 in YEA! | Comments Off

    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).

    Read More

    Thank you to our YEA! Mentors

    Posted by on Mar 12, 2014 in YEA! | Comments Off

    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

    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

    Read More