1.22.2010

Youth Plus Entrepreneurship Equals Success


I happened to be at The Enterprise Center first thing yesterday morning for a board meeting when a staff member there suggested I return later that day for an event: the youth entrepreneurship program I founded some 12+ years ago was having its Excellence Awards. I said I'd do what I could.

Everything broke right: my meeting in West Philadelphia ended in just enough time that I could hit The Enterprise Center on my way home. I caught the last 15 minutes of the event, but it was enough to fill me with pride, as I saw young entrepreneurs being celebrated for their presentations, professionalism, and innovation.

I was younger 12+ years ago when I considered that youth plus entrepreneurship can in fact equal success. (The name of the program is YES, which stands for Youth + Entrepreneurship = Success.) Circa today, I am older and more grizzled, but I still believe in that equation. And, now that I deal at a broader level, I believe that youth plus entrepreneurship plus time plus opportunities equals success not only for the youth but for the city and region in which they dwell; for it is youthful innovation that will be the driver for our future job creation and economic vitality.

Yesterday, I glimpsed a little slice of that particular equation in action, and was honored to have seen it. Kudos to the staff and participants of the YES Program, and keep up the good work: Philadelphia needs it.

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