The Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation created the Youth Entrepreneur Showcase (Y.E.S.) for Arkansas business plan competition in 2005 to introduce young Arkansans in grades 5-8 to the potential and opportunities of entrepreneurship.
Teachers praise the value of Y.E.S. for Arkansas for several reasons. Students are encouraged to come up with business ideas, then bring them to life by going through a real-world process of writing a business plan in teams to submit for the competition. Although they may not win, teacher say that competing in Y.E.S. challenges students to use their core reading, writing, spelling, and math skills. The process also brings out their students’ communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creative skills – key skills that are part of 21st century education.
Every year, the top 25 finalist teams are invited to Little Rock for the final round of the competition, “Y.E.S. for Arkansas Expo Day,” to show the concepts and products they created to a team of judges from the Central Arkansas business and education community. The event concludes with the naming of the winners and an awards presentation.
Since the first Y.E.S. for Arkansas competition in 2006, more than 7,000 students and teachers have competed for more than $50,000 in cash awards, trophies, and medals.
The competition begins in September.
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