Arkansas Capital’s Youth Entrepreneurship Showcase (Y.E.S.) for Arkansas 5th-8th grade business plan competition is one of the state’s best ways to introduce young Arkansans to entrepreneurship!
Y.E.S. is free and open to any 5th-8th grade student in Arkansas enrolled in school (public, private, home, virtual). Students in non-classroom-based youth programs are eligible to compete. A teacher or other responsible adult must sign on as team sponsor – and can sponsor multiple teams.
The beginning of the school year is the time to start thinking of business ideas. What product or service in the marketplace is bugging these kids? What solutions do they have – and can they make money?
Business plans are due Friday, November 16. The top 25 teams who enter are automatically invited to compete in the 2019 Y.E.S. for Arkansas Expo Day January 25 in Little Rock. (Pictures above are from the 2018 Expo Day.)
Arkansas Capital created Y.E.S. for Arkansas in 2006 because of the success of its Arkansas Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition, established in 2001. Why not give younger students a chance to experience what entrepreneurs and small business owners go through to launch a business idea … and provide them and their teachers cash incentives to do so?
Since the first Y.E.S. competition, nearly 7,800 Arkansas 5th-8th graders have submitted 2,526 business ideas with $86,850 in cash prizes awarded.
Read more below in “What You’ll Need to Know” – especially the Y.E.S. rules and what information is required for the business plan.
Download a brochure here. Good luck!
Review the Y.E.S. rules, registration information, and more below. Please download and read the Guide for Y.E.S. Business Plan Content Requirements so you’ll be ready to answer student questions throughout the process. Also, be familiar with the required income statement form that will need to be inserted into the business plan before submission.
At the beginning of the school year, challenge your students to think about a product or service currently in the marketplace that bugs them. The product or service doesn’t work or deliver like it should. Could it be improved or delivered in a different way? Is there a need for a new product or service?
What can be done to solve these problems … and how can they make money?
Give this assignment a few weeks, monitoring what ideas are flowing. Begin assessing how teams will be formed to work on business plans for the ideas that are chosen. Y.E.S. encourages teams to have at least two members (the teamwork value). But if a student wants to pursue an idea on his/her own, that’s fine.
NO IDEA IS A BAD IDEA! If you think an idea is crazy, don’t discourage it! If they enter it into the Y.E.S. competition, they’ll find out soon enough. They’ll either figure it out or scrap the idea altogether. This discovery phase is a real-wold lesson in entrepreneurship. Let them own it!
As ideas are formalized and teams are decided, assign the students to start composing the business plan, ideally, no later than mid-October. Be sure they follow the required questions in the Business Plan Content Requirement guide.
Composing the business plan for Y.E.S. is a challenging process. Teams will need to work together and will need guidance to ensure they’re meeting the requirements. Teachers / sponsors may want to consider help from a community partner to mentor students through the process.
Veteran Y.E.S. teachers and sponsors say working on the business plan as a team is where the students’ creativity, critical thinking, communication, problem-solving, collaboration, and teamwork skills shine.
Intents to Compete are due November 9. See “Submitting Intents to Compete” below. Business plans are due November 16 and the Top 25 finalists will be announced December 19, with six weeks to plan for the exciting Y.E.S. Expo Day January 25 in Little Rock.
To compete in Y.E.S. for Arkansas, teachers/sponsors must register teams online through a new platform this year, YouNoodle.
If you plan to sponsor more than one team, you will be able to register all your teams through this account.
Go here to get started: https://platform.younoodle.com/client/entry-rounds/yes_2019/apply. This is the web address you will use throughout the competition. We suggest you bookmark it. Any other variations used, such as just typing “YouNoodle” into your browser, will not get you where you need to be.
To update team applications after submitting:
Intents are due by the end of the day November 9. Please have all your applications completed as best you can by this deadline. If you still have some incomplete team information, you’ll have a chance to update it at any time – but it must be completed by the business plan submission deadline.
Please see the “Submitting Business Plans” section for instructions on uploading your team/s plans.
For more information, download a Guide for Y.E.S. Business Plan Content Requirements.
Business Plan Format, Cover Page, Table of Contents (10 points)
Table of Contents:
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 YouNoodle. 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.
Teams will lose points in judging if these requirements are not followed as they are stated above.
The prompt to upload business plans will be activated by noon Monday, November 12.
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?