YEA Investor Panel

Click here to register for this free event!

DEARBORN, MI– Metro Detroit student entrepreneurs will take the stage to present their business plans before a panel of local leaders of industry and a public audience on Thursday, April 23 from 5:30 – 8:00 pm at the Arab American National Museum in Downtown East Dearborn.

13 students in grades 7 through 12 representing 12 businesses and social movements from the Dearborn Area Chamber Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) will have six minutes to pitch their business plans to prominent local members of the business community during the program’s annual YEA! Investor Panel Event (think Shark Tank meets The Apprentice meets American Idol!). Based on the appeal and merit of the students’ plans and presentations, representatives from area businesses and organizations will determine the amount of funds to allocate to each business or social movement.

“This unique event will allow students to pitch their business plans in an effort to obtain real startup funds to launch their very own business or social movement,” commented Ron Hinrichs, Director of Events & Media Relations and YEA! Program Manager with the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce. “We have many creative and dynamic enterprises in this year’s program and I am very excited to see the outcome of this year’s Investor Panel presentations!”

These investors will also select one business that will advance to the YEA! Saunders Scholars National College Scholarship competition, where they will compete for college scholarships and an all-expenses paid trip, courtesy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to America’s Small Business Summit in Washington, D.C. One student business will also be awarded a $500 shopping spree at their local Sam’s Club.

The panelists will include Sean McGraw of Sean McGraw State Farm Agency, Margaret Blohm of the Rotary Club of Dearborn and Margaux Associates, Mike Chereton of Del Taco, Harold Drews of Sun Glo Services, Rudaina Hamade of RPM Solutions, LLC, and Adam Sterling of Henry Ford Village Retirement Community.

“Our YEA! students are among 8,000 students in 38 states nationwide enrolled in this 30-week entrepreneurial education class that teaches kids how to generate business ideas, conduct market research, write business plans, pitch to a panel of investors, and launch their own, legally-registered companies,” said Jackie Lovejoy, President of the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce. “It is such a wonderful experience to have the opportunity to work with the next generation of leaders in Metro Detroit through this exceptional program!”

Registration is required for this free event. To register and for more information, please visit the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce online at or by phone at 313-584-6100.

The Dearborn Area Chamber is also now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 YEA! program, which will begin in October, 2015. The Investor Panel will allow interested students the opportunity to see the program in action! Applications and more information can be found at the Chamber’s website or by calling the Chamber office.

The Dearborn Area Chamber YEA! is sponsored by Sean McGraw-State Farm Agency, Sun Glo Restoration, the Dearborn Rotary Club, RPM Solutions, LLC, the Dearborn Branch of Raymond James, Del Taco, Member Focus Community Credit Union, Charter One Bank, the Kiwanis Club of Dearborn, ACCESS, Center Street Wealth Strategies, Leader Printing and Mailing, Little Caesars of Dearborn, and Biggby Coffee of Dearborn. The University of Michigan-Dearborn is hosting this year’s program on their main campus. Fairlane Town Center will host the YEA! Trade Show on May 23, and Henry Ford Village in Dearborn is providing field trip transportation.

Be sure to follow the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce on Facebook at, on Twitter @DbnAreaChamber and the Chamber website for all the latest Chamber news and events.

The Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce provides 600+ members with the opportunities and resources to engage and network with other businesses, enhancing financial growth, professional development, and the ability to contribute to a thriving community environment.