Filling a void
YouthBiz programs seek to fill a void in entrepreneurial education and youth development programming. At the collegiate level, entrepreneurship education is increasingly commonplace as a stand-alone degree or an integrative core requirement. At the middle and high school levels, however, entrepreneurship is rarely explored or considered a viable career option.
Furthermore, entrepreneurship is rarely utilized as a tool to promote positive youth outcomes for low-income and underserved youth.
Entrepreneurship as Empowerment
Entrepreneurship education is being increasingly studied for its positive impacts on youth. For example, an NYU study showed that entrepreneurship education helps students develop skills that will help them in life and in school, noting improvements in communication and problem-solving skills.
YouthBiz addresses the needs of low-income youth by engaging them in rigorous, hands-on curricula within their existing academic and community environments. Entrepreneurship builds their workforce readiness and helps them recognize and enhance their strengths. According to Denver’s Office of Children’s Affairs, 22% of Denver’s children and teens live in poverty and attend under-resourced schools, increasing their risk for negative youth outcomes including low academic achievement and higher drop-out rates. Since its beginnings, YouthBiz has targeted these youth, developing their mindsets and skills in new ways and through opportunities otherwise inaccessible in their schools or afterschool programs.
The Impact of Entrepreneurship
YouthBiz teaches 21st Century Skills in a hands-on way. Students learn critical thinking, collaboration, communication, information literacy, initiative, creativity, and accountability. It is our promise that all youth who successfully complete our programming will leave with the following:
- Increased income and earning potential
- Increased academic achievement
- Increased resiliency
- Increased connection to community
Results – A Model For Youth Employment
Our work has been noticed and recognized by leading national foundations and media outlets. In 2013 YouthBiz was named one of the national finalists in the JobRaising Challenge to highlight the most innovative, feasible, and scalable candidates from nonprofits in the country.
“It’s been just terrific to see the positive impact so many outstanding non-profit organizations like Youthbiz are having on the U.S. jobs market,” said Sally Osberg, president of the Skoll Foundation. “The entrepreneurial finalists for this landmark competition are generating jobs, vitalizing communities, and transforming lives.”