• 307 Broadway - PO Box 230
    Hannibal, Missouri 63401
    (573) 221-1101 

  • Building our next generation of leaders: Proudly Launching the Young Entrepreneurs Academy in Hannibal

    The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) teaches middle and high school go-getters how to start and run their own, REAL businesses.

    Celebrating the Spirit of Enterprise and Innovation
    Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA! has helped more than 4,000 students nationwide launch over 3,000 businesses and social movements. The Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to introduce YEA! to our community with its inaugural class for the 2016-17 academic year.

    Make a Job—Don’t Just Take a Job!
    YEA! guides students through the process of fulfilling their very own American dream. By bridging the business and educational communities students are taught by trained instructors, and are exposed to guest lecturers, successful entrepreneurs and mentors. Over the course of the program, students:

    • Brainstorm business ideas
    • Write a business plan
    • Interact with business professionals
    • Attend field trips for an behind-the-scenes look at local businesses
    • Pitch their business plan to local investors for startup funding and the opportunity to advance to regional and national competitions.
    • Legally register their businesses
    • Participate in a local YEA! Trade Show
    • Launch and run their own business or social movement
    • Graduate from the program with lifelong leadership and business skills

    YEA! classes meet November through May, for three hours weekly. There are no classes during regular school holidays and recesses. Classes will be held on the campus of Hannibal-LaGrange University and are tentatively scheduled for Wednesday evenings from 3 to 6 p.m.


    Student Selection Process
    YEA! welcomes applications from all students in grades 9-12. Students interested in starting their own, real businesses may apply for acceptance into the program by completing the application, which includes an essay and short-answer questions, school transcripts and letter of recommendation.

    Once the completed application is received, students may be invited to attend an in-person interview. Acceptance into the program is based on all aspects of the completed application as well as the personal interview. Prior business experience is not required, nor is it required to have a business idea prior to the start of class.


    Start as a student, finish as a CEO! Students in grades 9 through 12 are eligible to apply. This program offers students the chance to:

    • Develop hands-on entrepreneurial experience to launch their own business or social movement
    • Connect with local entrepreneurs
    • Pitch to a panel of investors for startup funding
    • Gain confidence in their ideas, abilities and presentation skills

    Applications for the 2017-18 Class will be accepted during the summer of 2017!

    Get Involved

    Share your business wisdom with aspiring young entrepreneurs and help them get started on the path to success! We’re seeking expert professionals to volunteer their time as guest speakers, mentors, investors, graphic designers, field trip hosts, business plan reviewers, and more. The time YEA! students spend with adults who encourage their futures is invaluable, and you can play an important role in guiding our future leaders.

    If you are interested in getting involved with YEA! and being inspired by your community’s great young minds, contact McKenzie Disselhorst or Terri Coulter at (573) 221-1101 or yea@hannibalchamber.org.



    A big thank you to our sponsors, who have helped bring YEA! to Hannibal, including major sponsors:

    AT&T, Edward Jones, Hannibal-LaGrange University, HOMEBANK, Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council, the Riedel Foundation, and Rotary Club of Hannibal.

    Additional supporters include: Benson Financial Group; Cary, Welch, Hickman and Hawk; Century 21 Broughton Team; MECO Engineering; Chariton Valley; Tigerhawk Technologies; A&S Printing; and Commerce Bank.


    Success Stories

    Hannibal YEA in the news:

    Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce to launch first Young Entrepreneurs Academy in Missouri (Hannibal Courier-Post, Sept. 2016)

    Students have first entrepreneurial lesson (The Herald-Whig, Nov. 2016)

    Program helps high school students start their own businesses (WGEM, Jan. 2017)

    Student entrepreneurs inspired by personal interests for business (The Herald-Whig, Feb. 2017)

    High school students getting closer to launching their own businesses (WGEM, Feb. 2017)

    Local entrepreneurs participate in 'Shark Tank' presentation, receive investment money (The Herald-Whig, April 2017)

    Local students learn entrepreneurship skills (WGEM, April 2017)

    Click below to see why students nationwide participate in YEA:
    Watch 2015 Saunders Scholars Video

    YEA! Student Feature in Entrepreneur Magazine