For students who are interested in starting their own businesses, YQ Biz serves as a bridge to becoming entrepreneurs. YQ Biz offers middle and high school students in Genesee County an opportunity to learn how to create their own businesses. Students learn a lot from the program, from writing a business plan to marketing, selling their products, and even pitching their businesses in a situation like the television show Shark Tank.
YQ Biz participant LaNiya McMillan, who has been part of YouthQuest for three years, has found herself inspired to create her own nail service business called Luxurious Customs. YQ Biz helped her with the products and supplies she needed, as well as the support.
“It’s given me the confidence to communicate with others and get my business out there,” says McMillan.
The YQ Biz program, in partnership with Genesee Intermediate School District (GISD) and Youth Entrepreneurial Institute (YEI), runs through the school year and is open to all students currently in grades 6-12 in Genesee County schools.
“YQ Biz is an amazing opportunity for our young people to learn about running a business while getting the support and help they need as they turn that side hustle into entrepreneurship,” says Willie Buford, associate program director for YouthQuest. “We have partnered with GISD and YEI for multiple years to help bring this to our students.”
With the support of YQ Biz, the next generation of business owners are already here.
“I would like to expand and eventually get my own shop to work out of and expand to different locations,” McMillan says.
Individuals can support these budding small businesses at the YQ Biz Market Days at the Flint Farmers’ Market. The next Market Day is April 8 and the final day to support these businesses is May 6.
For more information on YQ Biz, visit EducateFlintandGenesee.org/YouthQuest/YQBiz.
YouthQuest is made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.