Youth Entrepreneurship Showcase (Y.E.S.) Business Plan Competition – Grades 5-8

Y.E.S. for Arkansas was launched by Arkansas Capital’s Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation to introduce young Arkansans in grades 5–8 to the potential and opportunities of entrepreneurship. 

Since the first Y.E.S. competition in 2006, more than 7,400 students and teachers have competed for nearly $80,000 in cash awards. There is no cost to enter!

Y.E.S. competitors work together in teams to first identify a problem in the marketplace and then collectively think of a solution that could also make money.

Next, they begin a business planning process (see “Business Plan Requirements” below) where they find out if their solution is viable. Through these steps, students must engage their core math, literacy, and writing skills plus the soft skills – creativity, critical thinking, teamwork, and more.

Teachers and sponsors say Y.E.S. is a proven, project-based learning activity where students of different backgrounds, personalities, and learning styles discover they have a meaningful role as part of a team working on a business idea they have “owned” from the start.

Plans are uploaded online. An average of 50 judges from across Arkansas are recruited annually to read and score the plans, plus leave meaningful feedback.

The 25 top-scoring teams are invited to Park Plaza in Little Rock for Y.E.S for Arkansas Expo Day, where they have a chance to market and sell their products to mall patrons. A new team of judges will visit each booth to score them on their retail space, their marketing pieces, and innovation. Expo Day concludes with an awards ceremony presenting winners and their teachers with cash prizes, medals, and trophies.



  1. The Y.E.S. for Arkansas competition is hosted by the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation, a 501(c)(3) affiliate of Arkansas Capital.
  2. Not every circumstance can be anticipated. Arkansas Capital reserves the right to disqualify any team that violates the rules, regulations, or the spirit of the competition. All Y.E.S. for Arkansas competitors and sponsors are expected to conduct themselves in an ethical manner.
  3. Y.E.S. for Arkansas is open to any Arkansas student enrolled in grades 5-8 during the 2017-2018 school year. Students can be from public, private, home, or virtual schools.
  4. Team members can be from the same grade or from a combination of grades 5-8.
  5. Team size is limited to six members.
  6. Teams can be from classrooms, after-school clubs and organizations, churches, etc.
  7. All teams must be sponsored by a 5th-8th grade teacher. Adults who are not 5th-8th grade teachers may sponsor a team, but this must be approved before business plans are submitted. Please email Marie Bruno at, or call: 501-374-9247.
  8. Teachers / sponsors cannot be a parent or other relative of any team member.
  9. Teachers / sponsors may have more than one team in the competition.
  10. Only one business plan per team can be entered into the competition.
  11. The business plans must reflect that the business idea is a for-profit product or service. Nonprofit concepts are not eligible.
  12. The product or service cannot be fictional in nature.
  13. Business plans must represent the original work of each team.
  14. Submissions and judging for Y.E.S. are processed through Startup Compete. To enter, the teacher or sponsor of a team must create or reactivate a Startup Compete account. Click below for instructions on how to sign up with a new account or log in from an existing account.


To compete in Y.E.S. for Arkansas, sponsors must create or reactivate a Startup Compete account. If you plan to sponsor more than one team, you will be able to register all your teams through this account.

Please visit this link to begin:

At the upper-left side of the page, you will see an orange button with “Log In / Register.” Click on this button. A box with a gold strip across the top will pop up on the screen.

For New Startup Compete Users:

Click the “Create User Account” blue button. A page, “Register for a new Startup Compete User Profile” will appear. Please fill out only the information marked with a red asterisk:

  • Email address
  • Password (and confirm password)
  • First and Last Names
  • Gender
  • Phone Number
  • Country, Address, City, State, Zip Code

Remember your email address and password. This will be the login information for your account from this point forward.

In the “Roles and Communications” box, the first statement is the only statement you need to answer for the purpose of the competition. It asks, “Select one or more role/s to describe your relationship with Startup Compete.” Check any box — the Y.E.S. competition has no preference as to which box should be checked.

At the bottom of the page, uncheck the box for “Notify me via email on … New Competitions,” unless you want to receive email from Startup Compete and the Global Entrepreneurship Network.

Click “I agree” in the Terms and Conditions.

Type the letters shown in the image, and click “Save.”

For Returning Startup Compete Users:

Go to and click the orange “Log In / Register” button on the left side of the page.

A box with an orange-gold strip across the top will appear. Under “Returning to Startup Compete,” enter your email address and your password.

If you need to use a new email address — or if you’ve forgotten the email address used previously, you will need to create a new account. See above, “New to Startup Compete.”

If you’ve forgotten your password, click on “Forgot Password?” and follow the prompts.

Next Step — Submitting Intents to Compete

The next step for the team is to submit an Intent to Compete by 11:59 p.m. Friday, October 27. Teams that are still undecided about competing by this deadline should still submit an intent to compete. If the team doesn’t submit a business plan in the competition, the intent is dropped from the Startup Compete account.


Submitting Intents to Compete greatly helps in preparations for the number of judges that need to be recruited for the competition. Submitting intents does not obligate sponsors or teams to the competition.

Below are instructions for submitting team intents. If all the information needed is not yet known, submit at least one team member’s name and class and the school’s information as a placeholder. All information does not need to be finalized until the business plan submission deadline.


  1. Go to and log in. (See “Startup Compete Registration Instructions” for guidance on setting up a Startup Compete account.)
  2. Click on the orange tab at the top left. If you had an existing Startup Compete account, it will say “Manage Ideas.” You will need to do step 3 for the 2017 competition.
  3. Click on the “Register New Business / Concept” button. You will be taken to a page with a box asking you to “Complete your Listing for Startup Compete’s Public Directory.”
  4. For the purposes of completing the Intent to Compete process, you only need to fill in the “Business / Concept” and “Business / Concept Summary” boxes.
  5. The “Business / Concept” is the name of the business plan you’ll be entering. If you do not have a business plan finalized yet, it’s OK to enter a generic name.
  6. The “Business / Concept Summary” is a summary of your business plan idea. If you do not have a business plan yet, enter a few brief words as a placeholder.
  7. After you fill out these two boxes, that’s it. You are not required to fill out any other information on the page, including the option at the bottom to “Display Your Business on the Startup Compete Public Directory,” unless you want to do so.
  8. Click “Save” at the bottom of the page. You will then be taken to the Startup Compete Competition Participant Agreement. Feel free to read the agreement if you like, but you can go ahead and click “I Agree.”
  9. You will then be taken to an “Application Page,” where you will be prompted to complete sponsor, team member, and school information.  If you do not yet know who your team members will be, that’s OK. You can update this information anytime until November 17, when business plans are due.
  10. Be sure to click “Save” when you’re finished.

You will then be taken back to your profile page. You should see the business name you just entered in the “Business Ideas” tab.

Teachers / sponsors must submit an intent to compete for each team. Repeat steps 3-9 above.

After submitting, you may get an email from Startup Compete with the subject line prompting you to register your team. You can ignore this – you’ve gotten this prompt because you’ve submitted the intent, but for the purposes of the Startup Compete database, you won’t be fully “registered” until the business plan is uploaded.


Business Plan Format, Cover Page, Table of Contents (10 points)


  1. Business plans must be a minimum of 5 pages and no more than 10.The cover page and table of contents are not counted as part of the page number limits.
  2. With the exception of the cover page and the table of contents, all pages must be typed in 12-point Times New Roman or Arial font and pages must be numbered.
  3. Spacing between lines in a paragraph and between paragraphs must be 1.5 or double-spaced. Please indent paragraphs.
  4. Page numbers must be included on each page (except the cover page and the table of contents).

Please assemble the business plans in the following order:

Cover Page:
– Name of the company
– Name(s) of all team members
– Teacher’s name, title, email address, and phone number
– School name and full mailing address
– A photo, drawing, or graphic of the product or service. Please ensure the image is saved as a smaller file before placing it on the cover page.

Table of Contents

Company Overview (10 Points)
Provide an overview of the company and its product or service. Include the company’s mission, history, goals, objectives, and the backgrounds and roles of the management team.

Product or Service Description (10 Points)
What are the features and benefits of the product or service? Explain why the product or service is better than that of the competitors.

Innovation / Creativity (10 Points)
How is the product or service new or different from what is currently in the marketplace?

Marketing Strategy (10 Points)
Define the target market for the product or service and the company’s sales approach.

Financials (10 Points)
Include both a statement of what funds are needed to make and produce the product and an income statement.

Preparing to Submit the Plans

Please ensure plans are proofed for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and proper sentence construction.

Plans will need to be converted to PDF in order to be uploaded to Startup Compete. Please give this PDF document the same name as that of your business. When the conversion is complete, please ensure all pages were properly converted.


  1. Log in at Click on your account name at the upper right hand corner of the page to access your profile. Click on the “Business Ideas” tab.
  2. Find the business name you entered in the Intent to Compete process. Click “Edit.”
  3. Update the name of the business if it changed since submitting the Intent to Compete.
  4. Update your content in the “Business / Concept Summary” box. This should be a short, two- to three-sentence paragraph stating your company’s purpose.
  5. No further information is required. You do not need to check the option at the bottom that asks, “Display Your Business on the Startup Compete Public Directory?” unless you choose to do so.
  6. When finished with this page, click “Save.” You will then be taken to the Startup Compete Competition Participant Agreement. Feel free to read the agreement if you like, but you can go ahead and click “I Agree.” You will then be taken to the Application page.
  7. Update the sponsor, school, and team member information. You will then see the prompt to upload your business plan.

Good luck!


The Top 25 scoring teams get their chance to show off and sell their products and services to both judges and the public alike at Park Plaza in Little Rock!


We have cash and other prizes for winners in the Best Business Plan, Most Innovative, Best Marketing Piece, and Best Retail Booth Display categories!


Y.E.S. has been around longer than some of today’s competitors! More than 7,400 students have competed since the first Y.E.S.competition in 2006. Who were the winners?