NAWBO Heads Into Second Year of Young Entrepreneurs Academy for Teenage Girls

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The Chicago chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) is heading into year two of a wildly successful program called the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, dubbed YEA! for short.

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“We’re blazing a trail for the next generation of female business leaders through mentorship with women who have already made it"

The Chicago chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) is heading into year two of a wildly successful program called the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, dubbed YEA! for short. NAWBO Chicago launched the program in 2014 to empower teenage girls throughout the city and shape their futures through entrepreneurship.

“We’re blazing a trail for the next generation of female business leaders through mentorship with women who have already made it,” said Michele Katz, NAWBO president and founder of Advitam IP, an intellectual property law firm in Chicago.

YEA! is a year-long class and mentorship program conducted in partnership with DePaul University. The national program began in 2004 at the University of Rochester and serves thousands of students across the country with 20 percent of YEA! graduates starting a second business or organization soon after graduation. Throughout the class, which counts toward a school elective credit, students develop business ideas, visit area companies, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors, and launch and operate their own companies and social movements. NAWBO Chicago’s Next Generation Outreach Committee member volunteers are all accomplished Chicago businesswomen leading multi-million dollar companies. Committee members serve as guest speakers, mentors and instructors. The committee meets the fourth Wednesday of every month.

Analise Doorhy, a sophomore from St. Ignatious High School, is a 2015 YEA! graduate. Doorhy was one of 18 Chicago teens recognized as the first YEA! graduating class at NAWBO’s spring Achievement Luncheon. Her company, Leaving Your Footprint, is a not-for-profit. She credits YEA! with opening doors otherwise closed to her. “I know I speak for all of the girls when saying we would never have the same opportunities we have with YEA! anywhere else. I have grown so much in a short period of time from this program and so have all of the girls. I would not be where I am now without (the volunteer’s) hard work and passion,” she said.

For more information about NAWBO Chicago’s YEA!, contact program manager Angelika Coghlan at yea(at)nawbochicago(dot)org.

Key sponsors supporting NAWBO’s YEA! program include: DePaul University, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Fidelity Charitable, Metaphrasis, Covenant Security International, McGladrey, and the National Student Leadership Conference.

About NAWBO:
NAWBO Chicago consists of Chicago-area women who lead highly competitive, sustainable, profitable businesses. Members are thought leaders who practice servant leadership and long-term relationship building that empower members to grow their businesses confidently. NAWBO Chicago is headquartered at 3332 W. Foster Ave., Suite No. 121 in Chicago; call (312) 224-2605.

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