The Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce will launch the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) in Hannibal this fall.

The Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce will launch the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) in Hannibal this fall.

YEA! transforms high school students into business owners as part of a weekly entrepreneurship education program. YEA! is a cutting-edge program that takes students through the process of starting and launching a real business or social movement over the course of an academic year. By the end of the class, students own and operate fully-formed and functioning businesses, which may be carried on after their graduation from the program.

YEA! offers a unique model that helps bridge the business and academic communities together, while creating meaningful ties to the area for students. The program currently operates in more than a hundred communities all over the U.S.; Hannibal's program will be the first in the state of Missouri.

During the 30-week program, students will brainstorm and form their business ideas, make pitches to investors for startup funding, file their DBAs and launch their own businesses or social movements. Mentors and local entrepreneurs across a variety of industries, such as graphic design, web development, law, accounting, retail, manufacturing, technology and more are invited to support the students throughout the hands-on curriculum as mentors, field trip hosts or guest lecturers.

YEA! classes will be run by the Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce and hosted at Hannibal-LaGrange University from November to May.

For more information, visit yeausa.org contact McKenzie Disselhorst, Executive Director, or Terri Coulter, Program Manager, at yea@hannibalchamber.org or call (573)221-1101. Applications are available on the Chamber's website.