Entrepreneurship– taking a great idea and turning it into a business– is an alternative to working in someone else's company. Y.O.U. believes that teens should learn about entrepreneurship to know if it is a viable career option.
E CITY (Entrepreneurship: Connecting, Inspiring and Teaching Youth) introduces teens to the process of starting a real business. Part of Y.O.U. since 2011, E CITY was founded in 2002 by entrepreneurs and business people who play a key role as coaches in E CITY programs.
E CITY is structured on the belief that many teens have mental toughness, street smarts, survival instincts, and creativity – qualities that are key traits of successful entrepreneurship, and that, if shown how, inner-city kids can build on these innate traits to achieve success in the business world.
Using an innovative 70-hour curriculum from the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, E CITY focuses on entrepreneurial and business skills. E CITY is delivered by Certified Entrepreneurship Teachers at many sites across Northeast Ohio, in formats that range from two-week summer Biz Camps to classes that meet in a school over the academic year.
Each participant receives a $50 stipend to start the business. During the course, business volunteers work as one-on-one coaches with the teens.
At the end of the school year, the top teens from each E CITY site advance to a city-wide competition to present their company and product and compete for cash prizes of $250-$1,000 and the chance to advance to the national level.