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Program to foster female entrepreneurship seeks young applicants

February 12, 2017


The Young Entrepreneurs Academy started accepting applications for a 30-week hands-on program that teaches female students how to pitch, start and run their own businesses.

NAWBO/EXCEL, the nonprofit arm of the National Association of Women Business Owners Greater Detroit Chapter, sponsors the after-school initiative. Applicants must be young women 11 to 18 years old who have a passion for starting a business.

In the class, students brainstorm ideas and present a plan at an investor panel event – for real funding, said Mashell Carissimi, president of NAWBO/EXCEL.

Students in the 2015-2016 class received a total of $10,000. At the end of the program they also launched their businesses, complete with "doing business as" names and bank accounts.

The Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business will host the classes, which cost $395. They start in October and run through May for the 2017-2018 school year and are held 5-8 p.m. Thursdays.

NAWBO/EXCEL accepts nominations here.

The early application deadline is March 31, with the final deadline on July 1.

New York-based nonprofit YEA! Inc. has worked with NAWBO/EXCEL since 2015. Local businesses that support the program include Auburn Hills-based Sure Solutions and Clinton Township-based JMC Electrical Contractor LLC.

Those interested can contact NAWBO/EXCEL at yeanawbodetroit@yahoo.com, or attend an information session:

  • 4:30 p.m. Monday: Wayne State University's Prentis Building at 5201 Cass Ave., in Room 27 on the lower level
  • 6 p.m. Thursday: Grosse Pointe Public School System's Administration Building Board Room at 389 St. Clair Ave. in Grosse Pointe
  • Noon Feb. 18 The Detroit Public Library's Wilder Branch at 7140 E 7 Mile Road
  • 5:30 p.m. Feb. 28: Jaffe Law at 27777 Franklin Road, No. 2500 in Southfield