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 Texas Business Alliance (TBA) has kicked off its’ 2013Youth Entrepreneurship Academy® (“YEA”) program and is excited about the latest group of young people that have been selected to participate in this high-level entrepreneurial training program.

The young people, selected from nearly 100 applicants, are seeking to become the latest group of youth entrepreneurs in the State of Texas that have participated in the program.

YEA equips high school and college students, typically between the ages of 14 to 19, with the tools and resources to pursue an entrepreneurial alternative. Youth get a hands-on, dynamic experience of the fundamentals of business ownership and mentorship.

Texas Business Alliance founder and CEO Jeffrey L. Boney developed the YEA program because he believes that programs like this give young people hope and belief within themselves that their ideas matter and that their opportunities are limitless.

“Young people have such great ideas and are constantly looking for mentors to encourage them and help them realize their overall potential,” says Boney. “I truly wish that I had a program like this when I was growing up and that there were people that invested the type of time and resources into helping me become a successful person in life.  With the help of our partners and volunteers, we are accomplishing our goal of equipping young people with the skills and knowledge necessary to turn their business idea into a business reality.”

TBA recently kicked off its fourth year of the YEA program, which is once again being housed at the corporate headquarters of Capital One Bank. Capital One has been instrumental in assisting with the selection process and curriculum development.

“We are honored to once again have a role in helping shape the futures of the Youth Entrepreneurship Academy participants” said Laurie Vignaud, at Capital One Bank. “We thoroughly believe in the YEA program, which is why this is our fourth year of participation.”

Statistics show that an unacceptable number of U.S. students in underserved communities fail to develop the academic, social and citizenship skills necessary to compete and succeed in today’s economy. YEA is a method to bridge the gap and provide an alternative to the traditional career footprint. Many of our youth have extremely creative, natural entrepreneurial minds prime to soak up knowledge that results in a success path that makes sense for them.

By the end of the program, students will have the theoretical and practical experience for exemplifying leadership, teamwork and citizenship.

The following outstanding youth were selected for the 2013 YEA program:

Amber Day, Jersey Village High School, age 18;Arthur L. Green, Jr., Cypress Ridge High School, age 16; Michael Hockless, KIPP Polaris, age 13; Ryan A. Hudson, La Marque High School, age 16; Jason Renaud, Jr., Eisenhower High School; Aaliyah Smith, Atascocita High School, age 17; andShameka Williams, Texas Southern University, age 22.

YEA selection criteria includes: the desire to pursue an entrepreneurial path; community and/or civic involvement, financial need and application completeness.

YEA program modules include: the entrepreneur experience, teamwork, leadership development, the role of entrepreneurs, key characteristics and skills, learning how to spot opportunities, business plan creation, marketing, credit management, financial literacy/management, accessing funding.

Candidates interested in the 2013 YEA program are encouraged to complete an application early for the program beginning March 2014. The qualifying application and official application may be requested by calling 713.738.7578 or emailing mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Additional YEA Partners include AT&T, Houston Forward Times, H.E.B., Comerica Bank, the PERT Center and BoneFide Development Group.

Texas Business Alliance is a member-driven, small business development organization, with a mission to equip minority- and women-owned businesses to be qualified suppliers, ready to compete for public, private and international opportunities through progressive development, and specialized training. Its vision is to strengthen the Texas economy and spur job creation by expanding minority- and women-owned businesses, and encouraging youth entrepreneurship. Visit www.texasbusinessalliance.orgfor more details or call 713.738.7578.

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