Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative

youth_entrep_image_webThe Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative is a multi-year initiative to promote entrepreneurship and its opportunities to youth, educating and inspiring young people to embrace entrepreneurial thinking to drive innovation and strengthen our global economy. Guided by our strategic plan, the fund will support relevant programming, focused research, innovative strategies, and partnership development.

Entrepreneurs drive America’s economy, accounting for the majority of our nation’s net new jobs and innovations. To ensure our region remains competitive and vibrant, JA continues to invest in cultivating the next generation of entrepreneurs. With the support of generous community partners, we’ve launched phase two of our Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative to inspire and prepare young people to embrace entrepreneurial thinking. Over the next three years, we will invest $4M to grow our entrepreneurship programs in new markets across Minnesota, North Dakota and western Wisconsin.

With a focus on impacting high schools students in Minnesota, North Dakota and western Wisconsin, the fund will accelerate our vision of expanding entrepreneurship education and ensuring students learn global trade, risk-taking, and the role of philanthropy to create long-term sustainable solutions. Interaction between students and adults across the three-state region will build tolerance of different cultures, ideas, perspectives and attitudes experienced in a global economy.

The Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative will support the following activities:

  • Developing an Innovation Incubator for high school students in our new experiential learning facility.
  • Growth of the JA Company Program
  • JA Entrepreneurship camps to cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit in elementary and middle school students
  • JA Meda Fellows Program to develop young entrepreneurs of color – currently being piloted at Patrick Henry High School in North Minneapolis
  • Cultivate partnerships with out-of-school organizations focused on social ventures.

Annually, at the JAUM Company of the Year Competition, we recognize the students from winning team as Otto Bremer Scholars. Each student will receive a $1,000 post secondary scholarship sponsored by the Otto Bremer Trust.

We also recognize the Otto Bremer Student Entrepreneur of the Year, awarded to an officer of one of the JAUM Company of the Year competing teams. Congratulations to last year’s winnerConor Friedmann, a 2015 graduate from Maple Grove High School, who received a $1,000 post-secondary scholarship.