Youth Entrepreneur Showcase (Y.E.S.) for Arkansas 2.0 Business Plan Competition

Congratulations to the 2016 Y.E.S. for Arkansas 2.0 Winners!

Eleventh- and Twelfth-Grade Division:
First Place:           “The Blotch,” Conway High School
Second Place:      “Sam’s Record Shop,” Conway High School
Third Place:          “Eclipsed Orchid,” Conway High School
Fourth Place:       “Ryan’s Law Care Service,” Conway High School

Ninth- and Tenth-Grade Division:
First Place:           “Unique Critique,” Little Rock Central High School
Second Place:      “iKanos,” Little Rock Central High School
Third Place:         “Tread Off,” Little Rock Central High School
Fourth Place:      “The All-Write,” Little Rock Central High School

Winning team members for first place in each category receive a $100 cash prize and a certificate. The teacher advisor of the first place teams win $500 and a trophy for the school. Second-, third-, and fourth-place winners in each category also received cash prizes, team member certificates, and school trophies.

In addition to Conway and Little Rock Central, competitors also included teams from Spring Hill School District in Hempstead County, LISA Academy / North Little Rock, and Episcopal Collegiate School in Little Rock. In all, 47 business plans were submitted by teams totaling 85 high school students.

Nearly 30 Arkansas business, education, and community leaders volunteered this year to judge the plans and selected the winners.

Congratulations again!

The Y.E.S. for Arkansas 2.0 business plan competition is an exciting, project-based learning opportunity for Arkansas high school students to discover what real-world opportunities and 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 2015-2016 school year are eligible, and can compete individually or in teams.

New to Y.E.S. 2.0 this year are two contest divisions: one each for 9th- and 10th-grade students and for 11th- and 12th-grade students. Teams from across the state will compete for a chance to win cash prizes and awards for Best Business Plan.

There is no cost to compete, and Y.E.S. 2.0 is completely online. Competitors can be based from the classroom, clubs, or organizations (DECA, 4-H, FCCLA, FBLA, Skills USA, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc.). All teams are required to have a sponsor – either a teacher or AEAF-approved mentor from their area.

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 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 (formerly iStart), powered by the Global Entrepreneurship Network. Competitors must have a Startup Compete account to begin. Register now at!

Teams planning to compete may submit their Intents to Compete by 5:00 p.m. Friday, February 19, 2016. Business plans are due by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, 2016. Good luck!

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