Anderson County Chamber of Commerce

YEA! Program

About the Academy

Students begin their journey with a desire to run their own business. Those students are being sought out to apply for the 2024 Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!).

This idea was brought to us by one of our very own Youth Leadership students who started her own business when she was a mere 6th grader. This young lady has a successful boutique on Etsy and saw the need for a program exactly like this for her peers.

Welcome to the Anderson County Chamber’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy! The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a groundbreaking and exciting new program that transforms local middle and high school students into real, confident entrepreneurs. Through the 22 week course, students in grades 6-12 generate business ideas, conduct market research, write business plans, pitch to a panel of investors, and launch their very own companies.

Think “Shark Tank,” but on a local level!!

How the Academy Works

The YEA! Academy is not your typical class. Students will learn to launch a business in an enjoyable way with a local instructor, professional guest speakers, a CEO Roundtable, trips to local innovative companies, and more. Write your own business plans with your mentor then pitch your plans live on a stage to secure real funding from a mock investor panel.

At the end of the year, YEA! Students will pitch their ideas in a “Shark Tank” style presentation and compete for thousands of dollars to help start their business along with a chance to compete at the YEA! Regionals in New York.

Who Excels in the Academy?

No business experience is necessary, a wide variety of students will succeed in the YEA! program. Students who had a particular passion, an idea for an invention or had no idea at all, have all created great enterprises.

When Class Meets & How to Apply

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy will meet Tuesday Evenings (and some Thursdays) from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at BCTC (Lawrenceburg Campus) location. Classes begin in January and end in May. If you would like to apply, simply complete our application to begin the process. Space is limited, so please apply early and ensure a strong application. The cost of the program is $295 per student.

Apply at:

For more information, contact the Anderson Co Chamber of Commerce at (502) 839-5564 or
or our YEA! Program Manager Elizabeth Swartz at (502) 604-1553 or

Sponsorship Opportunities

This program will enable our youth to dream big and teach the skills needed to achieve those goals. Pulling together a program of this magnitude takes the entire village, so we are asking our community members to help by sponsoring the Young Entrepreneurs Academy.                                                                          
Some sponsorship levels are limited, so if you’ve ever dreamed of being Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank, the Premier or Signature Sponsor is for you! As a CEO Roundtable Sponsor, you will serve as an expert panelist and talk business with the students. The Community Sponsorship entitles you to attend graduation and participate as a guest speaker. As an Emerging Leader Sponsor, you will enable a child with potential to attend YEA! regardless of ability to pay.

If you would like a list of Sponsorship Levels, please email

Premier Sponsors:

Signature Sponsors:

CEO Roundtable Event Sponsor:

Community Sponsors:

Emerging Leader Sponsors: