M. H. West & Co., Inc.'s Young Entrepreneur Academy

Program Overview

Starting early makes a difference for the future of our children.

M. H. West & Co., Inc. has designed its Young Entrepreneur Academy with this in mind. The Young Entrepreneur Academy helps youth experience the journey felt by individuals in becoming business owners and in the process pick up skills and guidance that they can use inside and outside of the classroom.

The program ties to standards of learning of the state or jurisdiction where the program is implemented. The program can be offered as an enrichment program over several weeks or an extended period to elementary, middle and high school students. Discussions matter and the program revolves around small and large group participation, individual study, internet research, media presentations, roleplaying and site visits.

Key Segments

  1. Laying the Groundwork
  2. Turning Ideas into Action
  3. Preparing the Business Plan
  4. Opening the Business
  5. Evaluating Progress

Targeted Audiences

  • Elementary, Middle and High School Students
  • Girls and Boys Club Members
  • After School Students
  • Summer Camp Participants
  • Youth Reentry Citizens
  • Administrative, Teaching and Support Staff Working with Youth

Program Services

  • On–Site Program Delivery
  • Technical Assistance for School/Organization Program Development
  • Professional Development for Program Staff on Entrepreneurship

Life Skills

Staff associated with the program include educators, business owners and other specialists. The program emphasizes the following concepts to help students make choices related to business but more importantly their academics, behavior and lifestyles:

  • Business Terminology
  • Critical Thinking
  • Customer Service
  • Decision–Making
  • Financial Literacy
  • Goal Setting
  • Marketing
  • Math
  • Money Management
  • Planning
  • Reading
  • Teamwork
  • Time Management

Program Recognition

The Young Entrepreneur Academy won the Collaborative Award of the Norfolk Education Foundation at the 7th Annual Together In Education Awards Gala & Silent Auction. Dr. Alana Balthazar, Principal of Norfolk, Virginia's Ingleside Elementary School, a site where the program has been implemented, indicates "I am especially pleased with the math, science and reading aspects of the entrepreneur program." She also indicated "bringing more innovation such as the entrepreneur program to education strategies should have a great return academically for students."

Community Involvement

A key feature of the Young Entrepreneur Academy is connecting students with entrepreneurs who are thriving in their community. WEST helps schools to bring these talented individuals to the school or takes the students to the site of the Entrepreneur. Students visit local businesses in various industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, tourism and retail and learn from the storytelling and experiences of the company's leaders.