Ever thought of starting your own business? Explore entrepreneurship through the Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP)! YEP will teach you how to make money from your interests and education by starting your own business.

The San Diego Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) is funded by the California Community College Economic and Workforce Development Program. The purpose of YEP is to help young people ages 14 – 27 replace misconceptions of vocational education and blue collar jobs with increased awareness of and aspirations to self-employment as a legitimate lifetime career path providing reliable living wages. The program consists of three major components:

Business Training: As a way to help participants learn about self-employment, the Southwestern College Center for International Trade Development (CITD) has developed a self-paced online training module and contest. The module provides participants the opportunity to learn how to:

– Start their own business
– Market their business
– Tap international markets
– Write a legitimate and professional business plan.

Business Plan Competition: The competition involves writing a business plan using the information provided in the online training. Business plans submitted for the YEP business plan competition will be evaluated by a panel of business professionals and the top 3 business plans are awarded a package of prizes designed to help launch the businesses. Additional information about the business plan competition, including deadlines, past prizes, and rules can be found here.


In-Depth Business Counseling & Mentoring: YEP participants have access to one-on-one counseling and mentoring sessions with professional business advisors to help them fine-tune their business plan and get answers to specific start-up, marketing, finance, and management questions.

YEP is open to all San Diego County, California residents between the ages of 14 – 27.