At any given time, between 500 and 600 million people are trying their hand at entrepreneurship. Sadly, many of these entrepreneurs stake out into the “wild west” of business ownership, unprepared for what lies ahead. As a result, nearly a quarter of small businesses fail within the first year.
Acquiring an entrepreneurial perspective and skills has never been more timely or valuable. Now, more than ever, young entrepreneurs need to be prepared to turn challenges into opportunities.
At Youth Entrepreneurs (YE), we want to offer this support to aspiring entrepreneurs throughout Connecticut. YE is a nonprofit organization with a mission to prepare “Generation Genius” to become our world’s future social entrepreneurs. Our ground-breaking, hands-on immersion programs are designed specifically to teach and inspire middle and high school students to step up as leaders in the industrial, nonprofit, and government sectors.
Our flagship summer enrichment program integrates positive youth social and emotional learning, community engagement, and entrepreneurial workforce skills through five weeks of entrepreneurship coursework. Content is delivered in-person to a small cohort of 20 students middle and high school students collaborating to innovate, ideate, and problem solve. We also offer adult programs to help entrepreneurs and other professionals thrive in their professional careers. Our programs are offered free of charge to qualifying participants, with a special focus on including underrepresented and underserved young people.
YE was founded by Laquita Joyner-McGraw. Laquita, has managed various nonprofit, educational, and community projects throughout her career. She has more than 20 years of business communications experience and more than 17 years of experience teaching higher education. In addition to founding Youth Entrepreneurs, she serves as the Executive Director of the Seminary of The Open Bible and is an active member of God's Miracles Unlimited Outreach. She is an analytical and conceptual thinker who effectively partners with non-profit organizations to assess opportunities, facilitate strategic decisions, and drive successful implementations. Laquita's ability to assess complex situations and identify appropriate solutions underscores her ability to gain meaningful insight and follow up with thorough analysis. She is exceptionally skilled at group facilitation and enjoys forging consensus among people with diverging ideas and opinions. Laquita has managed various projects in industries ranging from nonprofits, education, foundations, and community groups.
· Total Joy Are You
· Jane Do No More
· All Our Kin
Recognizing a need to cultivate the next generation's genius, Mrs. Joyner-McGraw established Youth Entrepreneurs to offer education, mentorship, and support to emerging entrepreneurs. Our ultimate goal is to improve young leaders’ awareness of their strengths, help them identify their passions, and teach them how to achieve all their goals.