NCCU School of Business hosted a Virtual Summer Youth Business and Entrepreneurship Academy (SYBEA) July 27-31 that introduced 25 high-performing high school students to the complexities and challenges of entrepreneurship.
The students were asked to develop a new product or service that addresses a social justice issue and present information in support of their invention or concept in a final demonstration.
The academy challenged the students’ problem-solving and critical-thinking capabilities while spurring their sense of creativity and a call to action, said School of Business Dean Anthony Nelson, Ph.D.
“Students’ excitement surrounding entrepreneurial learning was strengthened, as the academy provided them with the resources to train their peers on how to be responsible and effective contributors to the world,” Nelson said.
Monica Neal, whose daughter, Nicole Neal, participated in the academy, said the experience expanded her interest in entrepreneurship.
“The experience was a positive one for her, and she would talk in the evenings about how much she learned during the sessions, and often took notes,” Neal said.
At the culmination of SYBEA week, students made five-minute presentations to business leaders and social entrepreneurs.
“From a website design that allows protestors a place that they can register their planned protest locations, to an organization that would coordinate with local businesses to provide food resources for food desert locations, the students’ solutions and presentations demonstrated their astute sense of understanding regarding the issues that surround them,” SYBEA Director Keisha Williams said.
Mya Ortiz, a rising senior at Cumberland International Early College High School, said she was especially grateful for the opportunity to attend the virtual academy during the pandemic.
“To be able to have a platform, to be able to do something in a more productive way during our quarantine, was really nice,” Ortiz said.