The Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation, an affiliate of Arkansas Capital, created the Youth Entrepreneur Showcase (Y.E.S.) for Arkansas business plan competition in 2005 to introduce young Arkansans in grades 5–8 to the potential and opportunities of entrepreneurship.
Since the first competition in 2006, more than 6,400 students and teachers have competed for nearly $67,000 in cash awards, trophies, and medals.
Students who compete in Y.E.S. are taking part in a project-based learning activity that requires higher-order thinking skills. They work in teams to think of a business idea that could make money, which also encourages them to think about innovation and what their futures could be.
The team is then charged with creating its own business plan to submit for the competition. The top 25 finalist teams are invited to Park Plaza in Little Rock for the final round of the competition, Y.E.S. for Arkansas Expo Day, to exhibit and market their concepts and products to a team of judges. and to mall patrons. The event concludes with the naming of the winners and an awards presentation.
There is no cost to enter the Y.E.S. competition, and students have everything to gain. Although they may not win, teachers say that competing in Y.E.S. challenges students to use their core reading, writing, spelling, and math skills. The process also brings out their students’ communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creative skills – key skills that are part of 21st century education
Business plans are due by 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 13.