This spring, Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business entered into a partnership with Year Up National Capital Region to host a Business Plan Competition event for young adults in the D.C. area enrolled in Year Up’s job training and higher education preparatory program.

Held in April, the inaugural Business Plan Competition featured presentations by 16 teams of  Year Up students to a panel of judges made up of faculty, entrepreneurs, and advanced MBA students. The winners of the competition received a trophy and a cash grant to launch their businesses. The finalists were honored during a luncheon following the event that featured a keynote speech by Jimmy Lynn, former vice president for partnerships and strategic development at AOL and adjunct professor of sports marketing strategy at Georgetown.

Leading up to the event, 30 undergraduate student coaches from the Georgetown Association of Minority Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs (GAMBLE) mentored the Year Up students as they prepared their business plans.

“Through this collaboration, Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business is using its expertise in case analysis and entrepreneurship to provide a complementary co-curricular experience for both Year Up and Georgetown students,” says Norean R. Sharpe, undergraduate dean of Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business.

Lauded by President Barack Obama for its proven, innovative approach, Year Up is a national nonprofit organization that provides career training to low-income young adults and helps them secure internships with top U.S. companies. The organization prepares students for the workforce using a combination of technical and professional skills, college credits, an educational stipend, and corporate internships. Successful completion of the intensive, one-year program enables graduates to move into full-time employment and higher education. To date, 87 percent of graduates were placed into positions within four months of graduation, earning an average of $35,000 per year.

“This collaboration embodies the core of Year Up’s mission: to provide urban young adults with the skills, experience, and guidance to move into the economic mainstream,” says Tynesia Boyea Robinson, executive director of  Year Up National Capital Region.

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