Free program for area 4th and 5th graders starts this fall

If your child has hopes of running their own business someday, you might want to take advantage of a new program being offered this school year by Brookings Economic Development Corporation (BEDC).

The purpose of the Youth Entrepreneur Program (Y.E.P.) is to offer an age appropriate introduction to entrepreneurship, encourage creative thinking, problem solving and being resourceful; and to provide a platform for exploring entrepreneurship.  The program will be held at the Boys and Girls Club of Brookings on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m.-5 p.m. starting in September and running through February.

“We had great success with 40 kids participating in the kid-preneur pop-up market this summer,” said Jennifer Quail, Director of Entrepreneur Support for BEDC and coordinator of the program. “This program will be that next step in continuing to encourage the entrepreneurial mindset.”

Participants in Y.E.P. will learn all the steps and aspects to starting a business, including idea development, market research, financials, developing a pitch, and marketing. Guest speakers and Brookings area entrepreneurs will also be part of the curriculum. Students will form teams and create their own business. At the end of the program, they will participate in a pop-up market at the Boys and Girls Club. There is no registration fee for Y.E.P. but there may be minimal supply costs, according to Quail.

Y.E.P. is just one of the many events and programs designed to encourage entrepreneurship, according to Quail. “Brookings is very interested in developing entrepreneurs of all ages and has seen tremendous success as the result of this supportive and nurturing environment,” she said. “We are excited to launch this new initiative designed for our next generation of creative residents.”

Space in the program is limited. For more information about Y.E.P., visit or contact Quail at (605) 697-8103 for more information.

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