Youth Entrepreneurs Shine in Chicago


Illinois Institute for Entrepreneurship Education hosted the 2007 Youth Entrepreneurship Conference from May 3 -5, 2007 at the Lincolnshire Marriot Resort.  Youth throughout the Midwest attended this grand event to showcase their businesses and to compete for monies to promote and expand their companies.  Opportunities were also granted for youth to sell products or services in the Expo. The innovation of young minds was evident with businesses ranging from custom auto parts to Caribbean Cuisine. IIEE provided youth the chance to show everyone what they got in accordance with the event’s theme.


Westside Youth Tech Entrepreneur Center (WYTEC) located in the West Garfield Park community on Madison and Keeler took four youth developed businesses: Delectable Desserts (Meoshii Young, 17, ACT and Alex Watt, 16, Prosser Career Academy), Christie’s Photo Service (Letitia Jackson, 14, Thorp Scholastic Academy), Chi-Town Finest Stylez (Starnisha Ewing,16, ACT and Shatoya Haper, 16, Al Raby School for Comm/Enviro), and Baskets by Brittany (Brittany Richmond, 16, ACT) to participate in the Expo, Start-up Business Competition, and Jumpstart Grant competition.


WYTEC is proud to announce that Chi-Town Finest Stylez, a youth based corporation offering custom-made T-shirts and accessories, and Delectable Desserts, a partnership creating desserts for everyone including those concerned about the waistline bulge, competed and won a $150 Jumpstart Grant to invest into their businesses. The hard work and determination of all the attendees paid off as others were in astonishment at the creative ideas they displayed.


These individuals are shining in a community written off as one of the worst for teenagers. Youth are aware that they can develop successful businesses using their talent, drive, and determination.  They are trendsetters of youth entrepreneurship in the West Garfield Park community. WYTEC has shown itself to truly be an incubator for inventive minds.