Entrepreneur’s Program Prepares Youth With Shark Tank-Like Panel

A free 2-month youth program teaches students the power of entrepreneurship and concludes with the challenge of presenting themselves before other local business professionals in a Shark Tank-like panel.

The Young Entrepreneur’s Program presented at World Impact Los Angeles Teen Center also teaches business ethics, budgeting, marketing, design, and other skills.

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The program had its start in the summer of 2016 by way of some grant money that was given to the center. Through a long chain of conversations with many interested people, it was decided that the center should invest into the youth by teaching them the basics of a t-shirt business, including logo design and screen printing.

The initial run for the class was so successful, program leaders decided to retool for another round of students. This time they developed a curriculum, modified the process to be more financially sustainable, and bought some more screen printing equipment.

The students now apply for interest-free loans for all of their materials, which they qualify for by showing up on time, participating, and developing a solid business plan.

It is a powerful thing for them to see, hear, and interact with other entrepreneurs like them who are just a few years ahead of where they are at. This program fits right into the holistic model and focus of World Impact to empower indigenous urban leaders. It gives them practical skills that can be built on for life, helps to network them with other local business professionals, progresses them financially, and shows them the power of entrepreneurship for community development — all through the filter of being a Jesus-follower.

The program has now graduated nine students, and is preparing for another cohort in June. The deadline for all Summer 2017 applications is June 2. You can find out more at the Young Entrepreneur’s Program webpage at World Impact Los Angeles Teen Center.

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