Reading YMCA to Offer Entrepreneurship Program for Area Youths

Reading, PA This summer, the Reading YMCA seeks to foster an entrepreneurial spirit among local youth through a collaboration with fellow nonprofit agency Young Entrepreneurz Solutions (YES).

The Reading YMCA will be a site of the Summer 2021 YES Business Plan Challenge for Reading School District students in grades 6-8. Throughout the summer, participants will attend a series of workshops designed to teach the basics of business planning, economics, marketing, and financial analysis. These results will be achieved through a combination of classroom-style lessons and hands-on learning experiences. 

At the conclusion of the program, participants will work in teams to create the best possible business plan and present to a panel of local judges from August 16-20.

The winning team will be awarded $200 per team member and will have the opportunity to compete nationally in the U.S. Virgin Islands for a grand prize of $1,000 per team member, plus $2,500 for business licenses, LLC formations, trademarks, copyrights, and other necessary expenses to turn their proposals into real businesses.

YES was founded by an award-winning adjunct professor at Rutgers University, Ernest Ruffin, Jr to teach young men and women in urban areas nationwide about business and economic development. Over 1,800 students have participated in the YES Business Plan Challenge since 2014.

This program will be offered at no cost to participants thanks to generous donations from the Dorothy Haas Charitable Trust and Visions Federal Credit Union. Visions will also provide the instructional workshops to program participants.

“The YMCA is excited to work with Ernest and local community leaders to offer this program, which will allow students an opportunity to build teamwork skills while providing the unique insight into creating your own business,” says William Folk, III, Branch Executive at the Reading YMCA

Applications to this program will be accepted from May 3 until May 15, 2021. For more information regarding the YES Business Plan Challenge, or to apply, please contact William Folk, III at 610-378-4763 or email [email protected]. More information about Young Entrepreneurz Solutions is available at


The mission of the YMCA of Reading & Berks County is to put Judeo-Christian principles into practice    through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. For over 160 years, we have been  
the heart of the community we serve. The Y is a cause-driven organization that is for youth development, for healthy living and for social responsibility. That is because a strong community can
only be achieved when we invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors. The Y so much more.



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