YesCarolina Builds Entrepreneurship Center in Charleston

YesCarolina, a nonprofit that trains South Carolina teachers to teach the principles of entrepreneurship to students, is raising funds to construct a $100,000 in Charleston to better serve the Lowcountry’s youth.

The concept for the building includes space for 4 classrooms for student and teacher instruction, 4 offices for YesCarolina personnel, 2 libraries with business/entrepreneurship related literature for teachers and students, and 150-seat auditorium, a conference room, and a board room.

The new center will be a site for after-school education programs, teacher training, mentor programs, and competitions.

Over the years, YesCarolina has gained a favorable reputation as a force for good among the state’s youth. One of their main programs is teacher training, a four-day course that equips South Carolina 6-12 grade teachers with the knowledge and experience to guide students in their quest to business success. The teacher training curriculum was created by Steve Mariotti, founder of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) and winner of the Golden Lamp Award from the Association of Education Publishers. YesCarolina has trained over 825 teachers since 2004.

Teachers who participate in the program receive a certificate recognizing them as certified entrepreneurship teachers and earn up to 26 contact hours, which they put toward the renewal of their South Carolina teaching credential.

YesCarolina helps students who might otherwise never discover entrepreneurship. It focuses on experiential learning, giving students the knowledge, skills, and tools to become entrepreneurs and build their own successful businesses. The organization hopes that all the youth in the state can be exposed to the principles of entrepreneurship.

The nonprofit places special emphasis on rescuing struggling youth. Many of the students who participate in YesCarolina programs have struggled with math and English. Certified teachers help them their skills and interests and develop a business plan based on their passion.

Students interested in learning entrepreneurship can approach certified teachers, who receive textbooks, workbooks, lesson plans, and multimedia resources from YesCarolina. Interested students who engage in this study are then eligible to participate in YesCarolina-sponsored business plan competitions.

Students who progress beyond the classroom and state levels of the competition qualify for the national competition. Recently, a YesCarolina student won second place at the national level competition in Silicon Valley and went on to meet the President of the United States.

The top students from the county and state competitions are invited to a six-week mentorship program during which they learn important entrepreneurship principles like competitive advantage and building a pipeline. YesCarolina works hand-in-hand with real entrepreneurs in the area. Ultimately, the program helps the participating young men and women put their business plans into action and acquire seed money.

YesCarolina is making headway into the building of the entrepreneurship center. It’s partnered with to raise the $100,000 necessary to realize the project. So far, four donors have given a total of $25,000. Anonymous donors from MatchingFund pledge to give matching donations of up to $25,000 if the campaign meets its goals.