NEW YORK, Nov. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Junior Achievement USA (JA) and the YEC Foundation announced today the launch of the largest peer-to-peer entrepreneurship effort in the nation to match Millennial entrepreneurs as volunteers and mentors for students through JA's high school programs, such as JA Company Program®. As part of this partnership, YEC members will go into classrooms across the country and share their experiences as entrepreneurs with high school students participating in JA programs. With unemployment and underemployment of young adults near historically high levels, the partnership aims to introduce entrepreneurship as a desirable option for many of today's young people.
JA's entrepreneurship programs give students the opportunity to start and run real businesses with the guidance of a volunteer from the local business community. Each year, JA reaches more than 4.4 million students in the United States with programs that promote entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work readiness.
YEC – Young Entrepreneur Council – has been called "America's most elite entrepreneur organization" by Forbes. YEC's 1,000-plus members are among the most dynamic, innovative and game-changing entrepreneurs in the country. Using an invitation-only process, new members are democratically elected to the organization by established members from more than 14,000 applicants. Members include the founders of innovative companies such as Red Mango, GiveForward, IdeaPaint, HootSuite, Yodle, Rent the Runway, Indiegogo and 2U.
The announcement of the partnership was made during an event at NASDAQ in New York to coincide with November being declared National Entrepreneurship Month by the White House and with Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 18-24). The announcement also marks the release of a briefing paper on Millennials and Entrepreneurship, developed for JA and YEC by New York-based Millennial research firm YPulse.
"The research shows that 81 percent of Millennials admire those who start their own businesses, but this generation feels more comfortable exploring entrepreneurship with the support of peers and mentors," said Jack E. Kosakowski, president and chief executive officer of Junior Achievement USA. "That's why it's so important to have a partnership with a group such as YEC to give teens access to Millennial mentors who understand their concerns and who can connect in meaningful ways."
"At YEC Foundation, we believe that there is no better way to educate young entrepreneurs than through peer-to-peer mentorship, and we have long admired the work JA does every day," said Scott Gerber, Founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) and its philanthropic arm, YEC Foundation. "This national effort will connect our generation's rock star entrepreneurs to the next generation, so that they can work to inspire and educate millions of young people alongside JA."
According to the research, Millennials are not only more comfortable working with peers when approaching entrepreneurship, but they prefer to employ readily available technology, such as ecommerce tools and social media, when developing their businesses. They are also more motivated by pursuing their passions than in making money.
About Junior Achievement USA® (JA)
Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches 4.4 million students per year in 118 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.8 million students served by operations in 120 other countries worldwide. Visit www.ja.org for more
About YEC Foundation
YEC Foundation is the philanthropic, nonprofit arm of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only membership organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC Foundation aims to empower millions of young people through business mentorship and entrepreneurship education.
SOURCE Junior Achievement USA