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Knox County Schools to Help Promote, Identify Budding Young Entrepreneurs for YEA!

Knoxville – The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is an innovative program that transforms local middle and high school students into real entrepreneurial successes. YEA! is excited to announce Knox County Schools will assist with promoting the program within its middle and high schools. The program is sponsored locally by Pilot Flying J and will be hosted by the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee.

“We are extremely enthusiastic about welcoming Young Entrepreneurs Academy to Knoxville,” said Dr. Jim McIntrye, superintendent of the Knox County Schools. ” YEA! will provide exceptional classes and real-life experiences for them to not only learn about business, but also to directly practice these ideas by interacting with some of our valued local business community, like lawyers, accountants, and even potential customers.”

YEA! is a cutting-edge program that takes students between the ages of 11 and 18 through the process of starting and launching a real business or social movement over the course of an academic year. By the end of the class, students own and operate fully-formed and functioning businesses, which may be carried on after their graduation from the program. YEA! aims to teach students at an early age how to make a job, not just take a job. It is the ONLY pre-college program developed by an entrepreneur, at a university, with support from a major entrepreneurial foundation, the Kauffman Foundation, and the United States Chamber of Commerce.

“We greatly appreciate what YEA! will bring to the students in our community, the leaders of our future. The program will not only provide classes and practical work experience with professionals, but it will also teach participants how to live and breathe as a real entrepreneur,” said Mike Edwards, president and CEO of the Knoxville Chamber. “Our local business leaders, who were one time standing in their shoes, are able to offer students relatable insights from their own paths to success!”

Knox County Schools will help promote the program directly to students, as well as encouraging teachers and counselors to nominate deserving students who would thrive in the program.

To learn more about the local launch of YEA! visit

Knoxville Chamber
The Knoxville Chamber is the region’s leading business organization with more than 2,000 members that employ more than 276,000 individuals. More than 80 percent of Chamber members are small businesses with 50 or fewer employees. It fulfills its mission of Driving Regional Economic Prosperity by recruiting new businesses and supporting existing companies, and manages Innovation Valley, a regional economic development initiative. The organization actively advocates on the behalf of the business community. Members receive marketing, networking, professional development benefits, and many other cost-effective services. For more information visit

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!)
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a groundbreaking and exciting year long class that transforms middle and high school students into real, confident entrepreneurs. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors, and actually launch and run their own real, legal, fully formed companies and social movements. Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy today serves thousands of students in communities across America. For more information about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, please call 585.272.3535 or visit

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness by addressing developments that affect our nation, our economy, and the global business environment. The U.S. Chamber Foundation and Campaign for Free Enterprise are national sponsors and partners of YEA!, helping to promote the spirit of enterprise among today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Partnership
In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce and Campaign for Free Enterprise became a national sponsor and partner of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy to help promote the spirit of enterprise among today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders. Through coordination with its network of local chambers of commerce, the U.S. Chamber has helped communities across the country adopt the YEA! program. Together, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are celebrating the power and promise of young people in business and encouraging the next greatest generation to make a job, not just take a job.

Start as a student and finish as a CEO!©