Young Minds Become Entrepreneurs Through YouthBiz Program

Bringing financial education to Mercy Housing communities isn’t just for adults. Recently, Mercy Housing Mountain Plains (MHMP) and community partner the Young Americans Bank joined together to offer an entrepreneurial program for youth residents in grades six through twelve.

From developing a business idea to marketing and selling a real product, 26 kids from Utah and Colorado are learning all about becoming entrepreneurs in YouthBiz. The program from Young Americans Bank teaches youth about entrepreneurship and economic prosperity through hands-on programs and real-life experiences.

Entrepreneurial Education Benefits Youth

Entrepreneurial education equips students from diverse backgrounds with skills essential for success. These skills were taught in a hands-on way. Students learned the importance of critical thinking, collaboration, communication, taking the initiative, information literacy, creativity, and accountability.
For 10 weeks, each participant was challenged to create a business, from concept to completion. And these young minds wasted no time in getting to work.

Working together on a new and fashionable business idea

Some of the businesses created by these creative young minds included: shoe designing, pet sitting, making jewelry, art/drawing, a dress designed for day and evening wear, and even an idea for a business that would create social media content using AI.

“My favorite part about this partnership was giving my kiddos a chance to create something they were passionate about,” said Resident Services Coordinator II, Asia Gray.

Sumaya was one of the youth residents to participate in the 10-week competition. “I learned how to be free, and to be my own boss, and how to finance,” she shared. Her jewelry business won the Young Americans Bank YouthBiz competition.

The Power of Giving Back

For Sumuya, winning the competition came as a huge surprise. “I was very happy and shocked.”

Rather than keeping all the $600 award money for herself, Sumaya decided to donate a portion of it to organizations that support women. She also donated money to her little sister’s elementary school. “It’s helping others in need that need it more than me and it can make a pretty big difference in their lives,” she explained.

Learning new skills extends beyond the classroom. Participating in this program enabled the youth to develop confidence as entrepreneurs and acquire practical life skills, positioning them to navigate obstacles and foster resilience.

“This was so important to me because as they grow, they will learn the importance of investing and learning how to keep a business successful,” Asia added. “This was very fun for the kids, and we still have kids who are keeping their passions alive for the businesses they created.”

The programming with Young Americans Bank will continue in August and will include the International Town and Youth Biz Entrepreneur programs.

Congratulations to all the kids participating in the Young American’s Bank YouthBiz Entrepreneurs program! Your innovative and thoughtful minds inspire us!