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Are you a young entrepreneur with a mind for business? Would you like to spend six weeks in the USA acquiring invaluable business skills and knowledge that will be instrumental when you return to South Africa to implement what you have learned?

What is the Young Entrepreneurs Program (YEP)?

YEP was established in 2009 in partnership with the Northern Nevada International Center and Sierra Nevada College, through funding provided by the United States (US) Department of State.

The aim of the programme is to seek and to grow young entrepreneurs from all walks of life and provide them with international training and work experience they need in a structured setting so that they’re better equipped to succeed in their business ventures.

The Young Entrepreneurs Program takes place over six weeks in the United States of America (USA).

How does the YEP work?

Young entrepreneurs wishing to take part in the YEP and who have viable business plans apply to take part in it by submitting an application form found on the website.

Applications are considered against firm guidelines and candidates that meet the criteria are subsequently interviewed and short listed to be part of the group that goes to the US to take part in the mentorship and business development program.

On arrival in the US, the entrepreneurs are paired with successful entrepreneurs in the same field or similar fields as the businesses they wish to establish, who will be their Mentors for the duration of their stay in the US and will provide ongoing support to the candidates when they return to South Africa.

At each term 25 candidates are selected to be part of the training programme which focuses on business theory (through workshops, lectures and online training) at Sierra Nevada Collage as well as practical work experience at the hands of established and successful businessman and women. At the end of their 6 weeks Candidates receive a 9-Credit Entrepreneurship Certificate.

The programme enables South African and US participants to engage in an open dialogue about topics of entrepreneurial development, culture, values as well as transparency and accountability.

When the six weeks period in the US is up – candidates return to South Africa and are confidently able to implement their business management tools.

After a couple of months in their business environment, the Mentors are able to follow up on the work of their trainees by visiting their places of work and seeing first hand how they’ve gone about implementing what they’ve learnt during the programme and offer additional advice and assistance.

According to IBA Global President, Emiley Vollmer, once the 25 young people have been selected the programme will start with orientation classes in South Africa at the end of November 2012 and departure to the USA is in February 2013.

"We are pleased to once again be involved in this successful programme which gives young aspiring and established entrepreneurs valuable business skills and facilitates learning about the American and other foreign markets. We hope young South Africans will be inspired to venture into entrepreneurship and take advantage of this initiative to establish and sustain successful businesses that create jobs.

For more information on YEP, visit the YEP website.

Closing date: 20 October 2012

Winners announced: 20 November 2012.

Download YEP Brochure

Download the application form

To apply online, click here

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