YouthBiz was launched in 1992 in the heart of Denver’s Five Points community during a summer with record numbers of youth-on-youth violence fueled by gang wars and a struggling local economy. Eight inner-city teens, together with a visionary community leader, stepped up to be part of the solution, creating a series of entrepreneurial projects to increase income and build translatable workforce experience for their peers.
In 2015, YouthBiz formally merged with Young American’s Center for Financial Education to create the largest and most comprehensive youth-serving entrepreneurial organization in Colorado. The original mission of YouthBiz remains the same–to advance the social and economic prosperity of youth through the study and practice of entrepreneurship.
Everything we do is driven by the following shared set of beliefs:
We believe that the youth we serve are extraordinary.
They are smart, savvy, courageous and fully capable of manifesting success in ways that are meaningful and relevant to them and our community.
We believe that entrepreneurship is best learned by doing it.
Our model allows youth to experience entrepreneurship first-hand, processes their experience into learning, draw strategic conclusions, and then quickly test their new ideas in another action-based setting.
We believe that entrepreneurship delivers life-long impact.
The practice of entrepreneurship delivers critical life-long outcomes for youth including increased income, increased relevancy to academic content, increased resiliency and positive risk taking skills, and increased connection to community.
We believe in entrepreneurship.
It is a model for generating innovative solutions to complex challenges, and that it is a proven pathway for creating economic and social prosperity.
We believe in the power of community.
We value the diverse community of entrepreneurial leaders within our community and we intentionally connect our youth with them, as well as the venues and networks that support them.
For all of these reasons, we believe that YouthBiz is uniquely positioned to be a leader in the youth entrepreneurship education industry. We are committed to growing the scope, scale and sustainability of our model so that all youth who identify as entrepreneurs can access and leverage the resources they need to maximize their entrepreneurial potential.