Youth entrepreneurship training is one of the 14 program elements established under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Youth Program. This technical assistance document provides general assistance to youth workforce practitioners on entrepreneurial skills training and offers information and resources to assist with training youth interested in starting their own business, or gaining important skills to succeed in the workforce.
There is no one specific formula for a successful youth entrepreneurship program. However, many successful programs contain the same four complementary elements to varying degrees. These elements are: education or skills training, skills application, mentorship, and peer networking.
Through programming, participants should be able to acquire and develop skills relevant to entrepreneurship. Acquiring a range of complementary skills from business skills to life skills can ultimately help young people succeed whether or not they decide to start a business when a program concludes. Many youth may lack basic competencies in areas such as personal effectiveness and workplace readiness, and programs should bolster these competencies in tandem with business skills training.