03/01/2013 10:27 am ET Updated May 01, 2013

An Open Letter From YouthBiz

We made it! I hope that you have enjoyed reading the posts and hearing from the different people who
are shaping our journey. It has been our absolute pleasure to share our story with you. I hope that the
writings have informed you, intrigued you, and even inspired you as they have done for us!

This has been a truly amazing experience and one that I will be eternally grateful for. It has made us
better and I am deeply appreciative to The Huffington Post, Skoll Foundation, crowdrise, and McKinsey
& Company for their vision and leadership to make it possible.

For our last post I have called on the YouthBiz family to share a challenge with you.

What could be possible if all youth, everywhere, had access to entrepreneurship education and the
resources needed to realize their entrepreneurial potential through actual venture launch?

Think about it for a second. If every young person in America had access to a class or program that
fostered an ownership mentality, delivered cross-sector lessons about economics, business, and finance,and developed positive values of self-efficacy, ingenuity, integrity, perseverance, and community connectedness, what could be possible?

The profound answer is a whole lot! An engaged, informed, and invested cadre of youth could, and
would, devise the innovative solutions we need to tackle the most complex challenges facing our
communities. Not because they have to, but because they would see the challenge as opportunity and
want to!

That's why all of us at YouthBiz are 'all in' working towards a bold vision that says by 2018, YouthBiz will
be recognized nationally as an industry leader in youth entrepreneurship, and successfully replicated
and scaled in multiple urban locations for a diverse demographic of youth. We'll do this not out of
self-promotion, but because we are working daily to be of best service for youth entrepreneurs,
providing the right resources, in the right way, so that these exceptional youth can fully realize their
entrepreneurial potential, and get to creating solutions that we need to make our community, country
and world a better place.

We know that we have our own long entrepreneurial journey ahead. We're going to need to be better
and stronger, and MORE than we are today to make this bold vision possible. But we can do it. We will
have to expand and diversify our income, invest in year-over-year measurement and evaluation, and
implement an infrastructure that supports scale. These things and more will be hard work, but great
work! And we are up to the challenge.

That's what we're doing to promote and support youth entrepreneurship. What are you going to do?

Here are a few ideas to get you going:

  • Advocate for entrepreneurship programming be part of your school's elective track.
  • Ask for entrepreneurship standards to be added to your district or state education standards.
  • Encourage your elected officials and local workforce development programs to include entrepreneurship as a workforce development strategy and a recognized career choice.
  • Support youth-owned enterprise. If there is a fair, market, or lemonade stand near you featuring the goods and services of a youth entrepreneur, go and buy!
  • Give to a local organization that provides entrepreneurship education and support services in your community. Give time, give money, give expertise, or give services or supplies in-kind.
  • If you can't find a local organization, call me! Let's see what we can do to remedy that.

No matter what, do something! As you saw in the last post, there is demand, need, and relevance for
youth entrepreneurship programming. The youth have spoken. Have you been listening? They need us
adults to get a little more entrepreneurial about bringing entrepreneurship to them. So go, and do, in
the spirit of entrepreneurship and in support of the next generation of job makers, community leaders,
and change agents.

I hope to hear all about your 'doing' on our website, facebook, or twitter feed soon!

With gratitude,

The YouthBiz Staff

Brandy Bertram - Executive Director, Andy Szekeres - Development Director, Melina Bixler - Director of
Entrepreneurship Education, Patrick McClary - Director of Youth Business Development, Jabari Smith,
Rico Wint, Robyn Jackson, and Laura Benavente - YouthBiz Facilitators, Amber Roberts - Youth Intern

- and -

The 2013 YouthBiz Board of Directors

Caroline McMorrow, Brian Egan, Beth Parish, Victor Amaya, Rebecca Almon, Aaron Bailey, Madison
Carter, Haroun Cowans, Christopher Kelley, Patrick Riley, Bahman Shafa, Mary Smith

Support YouthBiz via the JobRaising Challenge by clicking here.