About two dozen local teens participating in hands-on program

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Lake Oswego resident Julia McCarthy has participated in YEBW for the past two years and is returning this year. McCarthy chats with Pacific Power CEO and President Pat Reiten during a job shadowing opportunity.Julia McCarthy is like most Lake Oswego teens: eager for opportunities, and ready to work for them.

Three years ago, a friend told McCarthy, 18, about Young Entrepreneurs Business Week, a business-focused program that offers hands-on training. She signed up, and during YEBW’s intensive, week-long program, she and a team of teens created a business, wrote a business plan and then pitched their idea to pretend prospective investors — a little like a simulation of the show “Shark Tank.”

“Our world is built around interactions between people,” McCarthy says. “No matter what profession you’re in, you need to learn how to give presentations, how to interact with people professionally. That was one of the best things I took away from the program.”

McCarthy graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in May and this fall plans to attend Claremont McKenna College in California. She’s leaning toward the sciences, possibly pre-medicine. She says YEBW helped give her the confidence to pursue her REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - YEBWs executive director, Gregg Mindt, is a Lakeridge High School alumnus.

During Investing Week, which she took last year, students explored the financial market system. During Entrepreneur Week, which she’ll participate in this summer, students will develop a business plan based on their own ideas. She also has participated in job shadowing, another YEBW opportunity.

YEBW’s intensive, week-long programs are held in July and August on three college campuses. University of Portland houses Business and Investing weeks, Oregon State University hosts Business and Entrepreneur weeks and University of Oregon will be home to Business and Investing weeks.

“It’s a full college campus immersion experience, so students get a taste of being on a college campus,” says YEBW Executive Director Gregg Mindt.

Despite its non-Lake Oswego locales, “Lake Oswego roots run deep in the Young Entrepreneurs Business Week program,” says Mindt, a Lakeridge High School graduate, Class of 1982.

About 25 of the more than 300 teen participants hail from Lake Oswego this year, as do scads of LO-linked volunteers, including YEBW board members Lilisa Hall, executive director of Pacific Power Foundation; and Jason Lesh, founder of Pilot Wealth Management.

Another man with LO ties is Greg Roderick, CEO and president of Frontier Management, who is a major sponsor and will be a judge in a “Shark Tank”-esque YEBW session this summer.

Kyra Bussanich, founder and owner of Kyra’s Bake Shop, will participate as a speaker. So will director Jerry Brown of J Brown Films; Kathy LeVee, vice president of operations at Marquis Companies; and Brad Gleeson, Sol Republic management team member. Ward Hubbell, president of Hubbell Communications, will serve as an Advisory Council member.

All together, close to 200 volunteers donate their time and expertise.

Like its supporters, YEBW founders Nick and Maurissa Fisher are business-minded. He is the principal and portfolio manager of Pilot Wealth Management, and she now is the director of client care at FunnelBox.

The YEBW mission is to “build the next generation of business leaders,” and the Fishers say they founded the program in 2006 “because of the increasing concern that the nation’s youth of all educational backgrounds were coming out of high school with no practical business knowledge, understanding or appreciation,” YEBW documents say.

The group means it when it says “nation’s youth,” with 130 of the 2013 participants coming from counties throughout Oregon, 12 from Washington, 10 from California, two from Colorado and one student each from Texas, Virginia and New Jersey. Last year, students from South America and Canada also participated. This year, several students plan to come from Canada and from as far away as Pakistan for the opportunity.

YBEW continues to grow. The goal for 2014 was to register 300 students — about twice as many as in 2013 — but that number has already been reached. Registration will continue through the first day of each program, so even more students could add their names to the roster.

YBEW’s offerings also have grown, starting with Business Week the first year, Investing Week in 2007 and then Entrepreneur Week in 2009, the YEBW website says.

In addition to the business simulation and networking opportunities with professionals and students from a variety of locations, students also attend an etiquette dinner, dance and talent show, as well as mock interviews and skill development workshops.

McCarthy says she’s still in contact with some of the people she met — peers she “would not have met otherwise.” And she says she’s learned a good deal from YEBW.

During Investing Week last year, she and her team compared two similar stocks, UPS and FedEx, and recommend one to a panel. (The team picked UPS.) The teens also compared mutual funds, she recalls.

This summer, she will be doing more than taking on Entrepreneur Week. She intends to serve as an intern, helping first-year Business Week students, and she’s already considering returning in 2015 as an intern.

“The experience of being totally focused on your project the whole time, it allows you to learn so much,” she says.

Learn more

For more information about YEBW, visit, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 1-503-576-4871.

By Jillian Daley
503-636-1281, ext. 109
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Follow me on Twitter
Visit us on Facebook

Contract Publishing

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine