Metro Detroit Students Embark on a 30-Week Journey to Start Their Own, Real Businesses

Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce Launches Prestigious

Program for Metro Detroit Young Entrepreneurs

Student Photos

METRO DETROIT, MI – 11 of the best and brightest middle and high school students throughout Metro Detroit have started a 30-week journey of launching their own, real businesses as a part of the national award winning Metro Detroit Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), hosted by the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the University of Michigan-Dearborn and the Metro Detroit Young Entrepreneurs Academy Ambassadors Club.


Throughout the academic year students will work in close cooperation with legendary entrepreneurs and business leaders such as Dr. Christal Sheppard, director of the midwest office of the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, Mr. Eric Nemeth of Varnum Attorneys at Law, and others. Students will learn from various local business leaders, community leaders and educators who use their personal experiences to demonstrate how to develop business ideas and objectives, write a business plan, pitch to investors, obtain funding, register with governmental agencies, establish e-commerce and a web presence, and much more.


By the end of the 30-week class, students will have participated in a “Shark Tank” style investor panel, trade show, and will own and operate fully-formed and functioning businesses, which may be carried after their graduation from the program.


A competitive application process required students to complete an essay, write responses to short answer questions, submit their school transcripts and a reference, and participate in an in-person interview prior to acceptance into the program.


Students accepted in the 2016-2017 Program include Abraham Abdulkarim (Dearborn), Mohammad Abou-Ghaida (Dearborn Heights), Sarah Bdeir (Bloomfield Hills), Jordan Crawford (Van Buren Twp.), Jamal Crawford (Van Buren Twp.), Isabelle Crumm (Ann Arbor), Precious Rollins (Detroit), Rima Saad (Detroit), Anand Seetharaman (Shelby Carter Twp.), Anthony Vickers (Dearborn), and Judy Zaiat (Dearborn).


A few more spots are available for late applicants. Applications can be downloaded online at or can be received by calling the Chamber office at 313-584-6100. The selection process is competitive and will include a personal interview.


The Metro Detroit YEA! program is held at the University of Michigan- Dearborn main campus on Thursdays from October, 2016 to May, 2017.


Contact Ron Hinrichs, Director of Events & Media Relations at the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce at or 313-584-6100 for more information about enrolling in YEA!


The Metro Detroit YEA! program receives major funding from Eric Nemeth of Varnum Attorney’s at Law, Rudaina Hamade of RPMS Group, Dr. Muhammad F. Azrak of Beaumont Health, Dr. Ned Fawaz of Energy International Corporation, Robert Perl and Steven Dunaif of Tower Brokerage of Manhattan, New York City, Premier Ambassadors of the Metro Detroit Young Entrepreneurs Academy Ambassadors Club. The program is also sponsored by the LAHC, Active Solutions Group, Sean McGraw-State Farm Agency, Master Plumber’s Inc., the Dearborn Rotary Club, Member Focus Community Credit Union, Janet Pipkens of Citizens Bank, Kiwanis Club of Dearborn, ACCESS, Trinity Transportation, Eastborn Market, Famous Hamburger of Dearborn, Al-Ameer Restaurant, Empire Realty Group, Inc., Sam Baydoun of Century 21, Leader Printing and Mailing, Little Caesars of Dearborn, Sam’s Club, John Zadikian Multimedia Communications, LaFontaine Automotive Group, Fairlane Town Center, Roma Bakery, Khansa Medical Center, and Biggby Coffee of Dearborn.


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.




The Young Entrepreneurs Academy

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a 501(C) 3 offering groundbreaking 30-week classes that teach middle and high school students how to start and run their own businesses. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors for startup funds, and launch and run their own, fully formed companies and social movements. The project-based program empowers students to take charge of their futures.

Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA! today serves thousands of students nationwide. In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation became a national sponsor and partner of the Academy to help celebrate the spirit of enterprise among today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders.
YEA! bridges the business and educational communities to fulfill its mission of teaching more students how to make a job, not just take a job. YEA! is made possible by The Kauffman Foundation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the E. Philip Saunders Foundation. For more information, visit


U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness and educating the public on how the free enterprise system improves society and the economy.


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.