YouthBiz is expanding, bringing hands-on entrepreneurial programs to youth throughout the Denver metro area. Fueling this expansion is support from the Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation, which focuses on transforming lives in profoundly positive ways through grants focused on health, youth and family, and animal welfare.
Before 2015, YouthBiz’s powerful, hands-on entrepreneurial education was available only to students in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood. Students needed to commute, sometimes for an hour or more, to participate in programs.
Now, YouthBiz is accessible to low-income and at-risk youth throughout the Denver metro area in schools, through partner organizations, and in local community centers like libraries. In 2018, 1,465 students participated in the program compared to 114 in 2014.
Through YouthBiz, students learn problem solving, collaboration, salesmanship and self-awareness. These skills help students like 8th grader Matir succeed in life and school. His school director writes that after participating in YouthBiz, “Martir’s attitude is changed. His personality is much more approachable, and he has a much better outlook on life…He really enjoyed [YouthBiz] StartUp and winning the competition as the top entrepreneur.”
Thanks to the Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation, YouthBiz will empower more underserved Denver young people in the coming year, allowing them to discover strengths, interests and confidence through the lens of entrepreneurship all at no cost to students or their families.