BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana Economic Development and partner organizations in the Baton Rouge area are sponsoring a program to transform high school students into well-prepared business owners. The Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Baton Rouge is a rigorous eight-month program for students selected from the Capital Region.
For its inaugural year, the program has enrolled 26 students from East Baton Rouge, Livingston and West Feliciana parishes. Sponsors include LED; the Stephenson Department of Entrepreneurship & Information Systems and the Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute on LSU’s main campus; the Louisiana Business & Technology Center at LSU Innovation Park; and the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.
“Louisiana will always need the next generation of business leaders, which is exactly what the Young Entrepreneurs Academy is designed to provide,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “This national program has a stellar reputation for giving students from all backgrounds the intellectual tools and experiences they need to succeed as business leaders. LED joins an impressive list of partners who have worked hard to launch this program in the Capital Region.”
With instruction from LSU faculty members, students enrolled in the academy will generate business ideas, write business plans, pitch to an investor panel, and launch their own companies, each filed with the Louisiana Secretary of State. In addition, local business executives, educators, community members and entrepreneurs will share their real-world experiences with the students.
Founded in 2004 with support from the Kauffman Foundation, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy serves thousands of students in about 100 communities across the country. It has graduated more than 9,000 students and helped launch more than 6,000 student-businesses.
“We are thrilled by the quality, quantity and diversity of applications the academy received in its first year,” said Deborah Sternberg, chair of the program’s steering committee. “This program will serve as a strong pipeline for LSU and adds a needed focus within the region on young, aspiring entrepreneurs.”
For more information about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, contact Sternberg at [email protected] or visit yeabr.org.