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With a mission to empower Denver-area youth, particularly those from low-income backgrounds, to create their own successful futures through hands-on programs and real-life experiences in entrepreneurship, YouthBiz teaches students to re-imagine, re-plan and recover. These concepts can be grouped into the 3 R’s to survive and thrive through the pandemic.
- Be prepared to be agile
- Work with power teams
- Combine speed and rigor to solve practical problems
- Focus on new opportunities and addressing new problems
- Change business models to stay relevant
- Scrutinize ways to save
- Capitalize on emerging sectors
- Seek new partnerships
By seizing opportunities during adversity over the past year, YouthBiz not only taught these concepts to students, but the team put the 3 R’s at the heart of their business planning to adapt to the new circumstances. YouthBiz quickly moved to a 100% virtual delivery model, and programming continued, uninterrupted. The group has also added new content and business opportunities for students including the highly successful online Marketplace. Two Marketplaces were held last year (one in the spring and one during the holidays), where students sold their merchandise through an ecommerce platform created just for kids. Their goods included jewelry, greeting cards, household accessories, among other gifts.
To help prepare students for business success and to think entrepreneurially, YouthBiz offers a suite of programs including StartUp and Out of the Box, specialized workshops, youth marketplaces and the annual YouthBiz Stars business competition.
The programs introduce youth to the entrepreneurial process and inspire collaboration, critical thinking and self-direction. The rigorous curricula are facilitated in various youth educational settings – core classes, electives classes, afterschool and career-readiness programs, summer camps and more. What brings the programs to life is the involvement of business judges including volunteers from Capital One. These judges vet the students’ pitches and award cash prizes to the winning team.
“Capital One proudly sponsors YouthBiz entrepreneurship training programs for Denver-area youth. And, we thank our volunteers for the important role they play in equipping students with business and entrepreneurship skills to shape the world of tomorrow and solve its unique challenges,” said Jamie Lutton, Senior Manager, Capital One Impact & Investment. “This work is part of our Capital One Impact Initiative, our commitment to helping advance socioeconomic mobility in our communities.” This is the mission of YouthBiz, and it rings more true today than ever before.