The Y.E.S. for Arkansas 2.0 online business plan competition is an exciting, project-based learning opportunity for Arkansas high school students to discover real-world realities entrepreneurs and small-business owners experience in their efforts to launch and grow successful and profitable businesses.
All 9th – 12th grade students enrolled in the 2016 – 2017 school year are eligible, and can compete individually or in teams.
Teams from across the state will compete for a chance to win cash prizes and awards for Best Business Plan in two divisions: 9th – 10th grade and 11th – 12th grade students.
There is no cost to enter. Teams can be from the classroom or from non-school-based clubs, or organizations (DECA, 4-H, FCCLA, FBLA, Skills USA, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc.). All teams must be sponsored by a teacher or another adult pre-approved by AEAF (see Competition Rules, #4).
Students are not required to have actual businesses to compete. The challenge is for them to come up with a business idea that identifies a customer “pain” in the marketplace, and a new or better product or service that they believe would solve the problem and make money. They then put that idea to test as they tackle real-world research and validation needed to answer questions in the business plan.
Win or lose, all competitors discover new perspectives on entrepreneurship that will serve them well into the future – whether they go to college, go to work for someone else, or start their own businesses and create jobs for others.
The founding sponsor of Y.E.S. 2.0 is the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation (AEAF), created in 1999 by Arkansas Capital. The mission of AEAF is to nurture people and ideas to generate future Arkansas entrepreneurs by being a catalyst in an environment that attracts, develops, and retains entrepreneurial opportunities within Arkansas.
Today, the opportunities to become an entrepreneur and launch a startup or a new business in Arkansas or elsewhere are greater than ever. Students who compete in Y.E.S. 2.0 are more aware and better prepared than others to seize these opportunities when they come along. They learn that starting a new business is possible.
AEAF manages Y.E.S. 2.0 through Startup Compete. Competitors must have a Startup Compete account to begin. The link to register for the 2016-2017 competition is coming soon.
Teams planning to compete may submit their Intents to Compete by 5:00 p.m. Friday, February 24, 2017. Business plans are due by 5:00 p.m. Friday, April 14, 2017. Good luck!