National Business Incubation Association; Your source for knowledge and networks in business incubation

Instilling entrepreneurship: The Enterprise Center’s YES Program gives young people vision, education in a recipe to cook up ventures in business and life

by Carol James

August 2000

Can a business incubator instill a culture of entrepreneurship in young people?

If the people who run it are willing to partner with others and can mobilize resources, the answer is YES.

The Youth + Entrepreneurship = Success (YES) Program of The Enterprise Center in Philadelphia, Pa., combines young people with a serving of vision in a recipe that others are becoming eager to cook up in their communities.

YES, even a pinch of failure is part of the recipe. But that ingredient might be hard to see, because the folks at The Enterprise Center, an award-winning incubator, have molded this program into a success. The 3-year-old YES program won the Innovation Award from NBIA this year and the Model Program Award at the 7th National Youth Entrepreneurs Symposium in 1999. The Enterprise Center was a 1999 NBIA Incubator of the Year.

YES is a natural extension of the center’s mission, says Lee Huang, vice president for new ventures. That mission is to recruit and nurture entrepreneurial talent and grow startup companies in urban communities. “YES is the fertilizer of the future,” says Della Clark, president of The Enterprise Center. “Those are our next generation of entrepreneurs.”

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Keywords: practices, partnerships -- organizational/corporate, seminars and training programs, social entrepreneurship, youth incubation

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