By: Jennifer Quail, BEDC Director of Entrepreneur Support

YEP, you can do it! We all know how impactful positive words and encouragement can be.  I’d like to think we all have at least one story or memory of someone giving us encouragement, sharing kind words or simply a smile that made a difference.  Positivity and encouragement are impactful no matter what age; but I would argue even more so for our youth.

YEP, we believe in you! When young voices are not only heard, but encouraged to speak; when thoughts and ideas are welcomed and not dismissed; when self-confidence and personal worth are fostered, a child’s world is changed forever.

YEP, dream big, anything is possible! BEDC is embracing the opportunity to impact the future of our youth, the Brookings community and possibly the world by launching the Youth Entrepreneur Program (YEP).  The purpose YEP is to offer an age appropriate, accessible program that introduces entrepreneurship to students in grades 4 and 5; encourages creative thinking, problem solving and being resourceful; and provides a platform to explore being an entrepreneur.

The desired outcomes of the program are:

  • increased self-confidence of the participants regarding their creativity and their thoughts and ideas of their community
  • increased understanding and awareness by the participants of their community
  • continued community engagement and support of entrepreneurs including youth entrepreneurs
  • establish a strong foundation to “grow our own”, and fill the pipeline of entrepreneurs for the Brookings community

The program will be hosted at the Boys and Girls Club of Brookings and will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-5pm starting September 12th, and will conclude with a Popup Market in February.

YEP, we are here to help!  As the One-Stop-Shop for entrepreneurs, BEDC is here to help entrepreneurs of any and all ages.  YEP is just one example of the numerous programs, events, and diverse resources available at BEDC.  We are here to help people start businesses!

With permission to dream big, people that believe in them and resources to foster creativity, the potential of our youth is limitless.  To me, that thought alone is exciting, inspiring and hopeful.  Just knowing that we are key players in encouraging the development of the unknown should be reason for pause.  YEP, let’s do this!

For more information or to register for the YEP, visit BEDC website: or call Jennifer at 697-8103.

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