About 40 percent of American middle- and high-school students say they plan to start a business and/or invent something that will change the world. The majority of these young people need guidance in turning their big ideas into viable businesses, or taking their existing businesses to the next level. A major factor in business success comes from role modeling, but young people in underserved communities simply do not witness enough direct representation of entrepreneurial achievement.

Our youth entrepreneurship program, HOPE Business In A Box Academies (HBIABA), creates next-gen business builders by providing students with the support and business role models to succeed.

Participants are guided through four modules: Basics of Business, Developing Your Business Idea; Developing a Financial Plan for your Business; Communication and Public Speaking Skills; and participate in a business pitch competition. Winners are matched with business role models for one-on-one business development and coaching before presenting their final business plans to qualify for a start-up grant.

With the support of HOPE Corps. volunteers who serve as classroom mentors, youth entrepreneurs adapt their business plans, get advice on adding new service options, and hiring staff. They learn how to present themselves professionally and gain business confidence and skills.