Recent studies show that nearly seven million jobs that employed young people were erased during the current economic meltdown. In fact, 52.2% of youth do not have a job, the highest percentage since World War II.
However, a group of hardworking and dedicated youth from St. Paul’s Selby Avenue neighborhood are paving the way for their own entrepreneurial and economic future.
The Selby Ave Youth Business Club began in November 2009 as a collaborative between Mychael Wright, owner of Golden Thyme Café; Janet Williams with The Family Partnership; Dave Bonko and Sara Reller with Selby Area Community Development Corporation; and the University of St Thomas SIFE team to build a program to promote the next generation entrepreneur and successful workforce.
The Selby Ave Youth Business Club, SAYBC, is a program that provides free entrepreneurial training, technical assistance and mentoring to neighborhood youth ages 9-16 thus empowering their economic future. The collaborative nature of the team nurtures creativity, curiosity, and entrepreneurial spirit.
“There is no better time than the present to start teaching our kids the skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur,” said Wright. “It’s time to begin empowering the youth of our community to take control of their own economic futures by giving them the tools and support they’ll need.”
Since last fall, SAYBC students have participated in business training sessions covering finance, marketing, operations and research. Students have started their own enterprise that sells holiday ornaments in order to grasp a hands-on understanding of the concepts of business. The purchasing of these ornaments support kids, growth, local business, and the community. SAYBC classes are provided free of charge. SAYBC is funded in part by the Otto Bremer Foundation.
The Selby Avenue Youth Business Club is open to youth ages 9-16 who are interested in starting their own or learning more about business. The group meets the first and third Saturday of every month from 9:30 am to noon at Golden Thyme Cafe on Selby and Milton.