Youth Entrepreneurs Summit
Big Idea National Competition
Twins Darion and DeAndre Nelson (pictured above), seniors from South Gwinnett HS, are national champions in the inaugural Youth Entrepreneurs (YE) Summit Big Idea National Competition, earning $2,500 in prize money. The Nelsons’ Youngest Doin’ It business, also known as the YDI Experience, is a teen-based concert and party promotions business that provides a safe and fun environment for metro Atlanta teens, ages 14-18.
Over the course of the three-day Summit, 100 YE students from around the country heard from leading business and entrepreneurial figures, networked with YE peers and alumni, and participated in workshops to hone their business management skills. Students brought their boldest and most innovative business concepts to the Big Idea finals, a national stage for students to pitch their business proposals and put their entrepreneurial skills into action for a panel of expert judges. YDI was selected by the panel of experts for its ingenuity, creativity, and thorough business strategy. The two brothers plan to invest their prize money in their business for further growth.
YE is a year-long high school elective program that instills the business skills, creative risk-taking, and personal values needed to succeed in today’s market.
Amazing Student Entrepreneur Competition
- Mya Swaby, a Brookwood HS junior, earned 1st place and $500 for ContraBand Clothing, her apparel company which designs and produces augmented-reality clothing.
- Akeyjah Charles, a senior at South Gwinnett HS, earned 2nd place and $300 for her photography service company. The Key Images specializes in portrait, advertising, and event photography.
- Komlan “CJ” Amousou, a recent graduate of Grayson HS Technical Education Program, took 3rd place and a $200 prize. CJ, who will study photography at Gwinnett Tech this fall, owns Complex Culture Photography and specializes in lifestyle and portrait photography.
For the competition, contestants submitted a business plan summary and demonstration video for judging. Finalists earned the opportunity to present before a panel of business leaders. Entrepreneurial training courses, workshops, small-business advisement, and information on licensing were provided to the winners. Partnership Gwinnett is a public-private initiative dedicated to bringing new jobs and capital investment to Gwinnett County. All three winners also had presented their business concepts in the Snellville Shark Tank student entrepreneur competition, sponsored by the City of Snellville.
“Thanks to partnerships between Gwinnett County Public Schools and our local communities, our students are equipped with the soft skills and training necessary to start and operate a successful business,” says Cindy Quinlan, a Brookwood HS teacher who serves as the lead for the Entrepreneurship Pathway in Gwinnett County Public Schools. “We are committed to meeting the demand of our student entrepreneurs who desire a classroom experience that encourages experimental learning,”