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Cayuga Community College and Finger Lakes Community College offering the Young Entrepreneurs Academy

Middle and high school students interested in starting their own business or nonprofit agency can attend information sessions this summer about an engaging educational opportunity at Cayuga Community College and Finger Lakes Community College.

The two higher education institutions are partnering to offer the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), a 20-week program that pilots students in grades 6-12 through the steps of researching, funding and launching their dream business or nonprofit. Classes begin in October, and Locate Finger Lakes is funding full scholarships for accepted students.

Since its founding, YEA! has helped thousands of students develop and launch their own businesses. The program combines a proven curriculum with opportunities to learn from community business owners to encourage students to pursue their passions and enhance their business and leadership skills.

Virtual information sessions are offered every Monday in July from noon to 1 p.m.; and every Thursday in August from 6-7 p.m. Email [email protected] if you are interested in attending, or would like to schedule an appointment for another time.

“YEA! is a supportive program with a track record of helping students launch successful enterprises while also strengthening the educational, business and leadership skills that will help students succeed in their future endeavors,” said Program Manager LaToya Collins. “Our information sessions will outline how the program supports students, challenges them, and the benefits it offers in the short- and long-term.”

YEA! takes students from the first step of crafting an idea for a business or social movement, to funding and launching the enterprise. Students are not required to have an idea for a business at the time of enrollment, and can work independently or with a partner. Along with formalizing a business plan and conducting market research, students will also pitch their business to a panel of potential investors.

Classes will combine in-person and online learning, and will be offered 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Saturdays. Classes will not be held during holidays and school vacations.

The application deadline for the 2021-22 class is September 30. Students can apply at and use the code “YEA20” to waive the application fee. Students will need to interview before being accepted to the program, and must provide a school transcript, essay and letter of recommendation.

For more information about the program, visit or