The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is set to open two centres in India to teach entrepreneurship to school students between 11-18 years. The centres would launch at the American School of Bombay in Mumbai and at Shri Ram School in New Delhi. The 25-week course – with classes every Saturday – aims to generate business ideas, conduct market research, write business plans and pitch to a panel of investors for start-up funding. By the end of the course, students could launch their own companies.
USA-based YEA! was founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with grant support from the Kauffman Foundation. In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation became a national sponsor and its partner to help celebrate the spirit of enterprise among the youth. It offers both after-school programmes as well as credit-bearing elective programmes to students in grades 6 through 12 (ages 11 to 18) throughout the USA. It has over 100 centres in 39 states of USA. According to its website, over 4,000 students have graduated from YEA! and launched over 3,000 businesses.
The Indian initiative is being led by Namita Thapar, founder of Incredible Ideas Ltd and CFO and Executive Director of Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd. During the course, students will get an opportunity to hear as well as get mentored by several celebrity guest speakers. They would also be engaging with experts from banking, insurance, consulting and venture capital firms. The centres are expected to open in August.