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Youth Entrepreneur Training Program

ICON CDC

Non-profit organization

We would like support in funding our Youth Entrepreneur Training Program. This program is 4-6 week youth development/leadership program that provides engaging and activity based workshops that provide youth with the technical skills needed to begin a successful career and start their own business in LA. Youth learn about business entities, licences/permits, marketing, networking, communication, social skills, managing finances, access to capital, credit, business plan and resume development.



What does your organization do?

ICON CDC empowers residents and small businesses in the San Fernando Valley through programs that support social, civic, economic development, and education.

Briefly tell us a story that demonstrates how your organization turns inspiration into impact.

Brendan Thompson, at only 17 years old participated in our first Youth Entrepreneur Training Program in the Summer of 2016. During the Youth Entrepreneur Training Program, Brendan learned about entrepreneurship, career development and leadership. By the end of the program Brendan Thompson had completed his own business plan, had an up-to-date professional resume and gained the leadership skills needed to be a successful business owner in the City of Los Angeles. Brendan is now 20 years old and is the owner of his own business Guild of Arts Los Angeles (GALA) to promote the arts in Los Angeles. By participating in ICON CDC’s Youth Entrepreneur Training Program, Brendan was able to further developed his screen printing business called Freek Designs and began to flesh out the idea for GALA. For years, Brendan wanted to start a community arts center and at the Youth Entrepreneur Training Program, he got to think about it a lot more. After the Youth Entrepreneur Training Program, Brendan had the idea to start throwing art shows to get his arts center idea off the ground. Since completing the Youth Entrepreneur Training Program, Brendan has hosted many art shows with many vendors and activities for everyone under his GALA business. Brendan continues to grow both his business by utilizing the services that ICON CDC provides to all Youth Entrepreneur Training Program participants.

Which of the create metrics will your submission impact?​

  • Employment in the creative industries
  • Minority- and women-owned firms
  • Number of high-growth startups

Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?

  • LA is the best place to LEARN
  • LA is the best place to CONNECT

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • San Fernando Valley
  • County of Los Angeles
  • LAUSD

How will your project make LA the best place to create?

The project begins with a creative youth entrepreneur training program encompassing activity-based leadership, marketing, financial, career development workshops and youth mentoring. The program starts off by empowering youth ages 16-21 to draw out their vision for the program. The entrepreneur training program will be teaching the key elements of starting and operating a small business and steps on how to start a business in the LA area. Youth will complete a personalized business plan based on their personal creative interests. The youth will learn how to be a leader by taking part in engaging activities that focus on: multicultural communication, critical thinking skills, and emotional intelligence. The three part program builds upon entrepreneurship, leadership, and career development skills needed in LA’s new economy. In entrepreneurship, youth will learn the steps on how to start a business in the LA area and will complete a personalized business plan based on their personal creative interests. In leadership, youth will learn how to be a leader by taking part in engaging activities that focus on three components: communication, emotional intelligence and mental abilities. The social component focuses on learning advanced communication skills in group communication, cross-cultural communication, global communication, and professional networking. A diversity workshop is focused on creating empathy for the many cultures and rich diversity races, religions, socioeconomic status, language abilities, people with a criminal justice background, immigration status, age, sexual orientation, etc, which exist in Los Angeles. The second component is emotional awareness focusing on providing youth with critical thinking skills, and the appreciation of non-traditional forms of success including the arts, innovation, outside-the-box thinking, fostering of new ideas without the fear of failure, and focus on the flexibility of universal skills. In career, youth will focus on career development by learning how to personally brand themselves, social media etiquette, networking, create a resume, partaking in career assessments, mock interviews and learning how to turn internships into full time jobs to start their career. Our Youth Entrepreneurship Training will help promote social and cultural identity, build a stronger sense of community, and give youth, especially at-risk youth, a sense of meaning and belonging. Recruiting and retention rates for local higher education institutions will increase thanks to our program as we will partner with local higher education institutes to have representatives come and make presentations and engage our youth about their respective institutions and programs. Youth that participate in this program are innovative, creative, community oriented, and hardworking. This program will help youth unleash their potential by connecting youth to resources and programs will create long-term Angeleno entrepreneurs in our great city.

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Post-pilot (testing an expansion of concept after initially successful pilot)

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

Our success will be determined by evaluating entrance and exit interviews for each youth participant. Also, confidential feedback surveys will be handed out after each entrepreneur training workshop to evaluate workshop material, speaker and instructor. In addition, our program evaluation includes setting goals for all the metrics we are proposing to effect and tracking the outcomes for each post program. At the end of the Youth Entrepreneur Training Program, each youth participant that successfully completes the program is assigned to an ICON CDC Business Coach that will meet with them and follow up with them on a monthly basis to assist them with ongoing business, career, financial literacy and leadership development.An action plan will be created to access their needs and guide them through their next steps.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Access to LA2050 community
  • Communications support, including traditional media, social media, and LA2050 newsletter
  • Publicity/awareness

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