Student Teams From Searcy, Little Rock, Cabot, Rogers Take Top Prizes in Y.E.S. Competition
February 1, 2024
LITTLE ROCK– The 2023-24 Youth Entrepreneurship Showcase (Y.E.S.) for Arkansas team pitch competition was guided by new leadership. Economics Arkansas directed the student competition after accepting logistical management from Arkansas Capital Corporation who started the contest in 2006.
This year’s 1st place winners included teams from Southwest Middle School, Forest Park Elementary, Cabot Middle School North, and Elmwood Middle School.
The Y.E.S. competition is one of the state’s best ways to introduce young Arkansans to entrepreneurship. It’s free to any 5th-8th grade student in Arkansas. The 2023-24 competition saw a total of 332 students on 98 teams compete.
Why is Y.E.S. important to Arkansas? It brings a unique level of awareness to entrepreneur education and encourages a pipeline of future entrepreneurs for the state. It’s a hands-on, real-world experience. It mirrors the same steps prospective entrepreneurs must take to launch a business idea. Students are responsible for writing a business plan, figuring out how their idea will work, how to bring it to market, and how they can make a profit.
Students engage their core reading, writing, and math skills to write the business plan, but also rely on creativity, critical thinking, communication, problem solving, and teamwork skills as they move through the competition process.
Business plan entries were scored by 45 volunteer expert judges last fall. The top 25 teams pitched live to a panel of four judges on Friday, January 26. Winning teams in 1st-4th place receive cash prizes and awards in the following four categories: Best Business Plan, Best Marketing, Best Retail Booth, and Most Innovative.
This year, 1st and 2nd place winners received a special invitation to market their products at Park Plaza Mall in Little Rock in February, while the Venture Center will also host a luncheon for 1st place teams.
A list of the 1st-4th place winners for 2023-24 can be found by category below:
Best Business Plan
1st Place: Pedal for Life, Southwest Middle School, Searcy School District
2nd Place: Study Buddies, Green Forest Middle School, Green Forest School District
3rd Place: Secure Link, Berryville Middle School, Berryville School District
4th Place: Lights Out, Forest Park Elementary, Little Rock School District
Best Retail Booth
1st Place: Lights Out, Forest Park Elementary, Little Rock School District
2nd Place: C.T.C. (Car Trash Can), Southwest Middle School, Searcy School District
3rd Place: Candy Control, Elmwood Middle School, Rogers Public Schools
4th Place: Wrap in a Snap, The Baptist Preparatory School
1st Place: Jett’s Closet, Cabot Middle School North, Cabot Public Schools
2nd Place: Broclets, Dunbar Magnet Middle School, Little Rock School District
3rd Place: The Grease Grabber, Elmwood Middle School, Rogers Public Schools
4th Place: Secure Link, Berryville Middle School, Berryville School District
1st Place: Candy Control, Elmwood Middle School, Rogers Public Schools
2nd Place: Pedal for Life, Southwest Middle School, Searcy School District
3rd Place: EZ Ornaments, Pinnacle View Middle School, Little Rock School District
4th Place: Outfit-O-Matic, Southwest Middle School, Searcy School District
Economics Arkansas is a private, nonprofit, non-partisan educational organization founded in 1962 by Dr. Arch Ford and led by Dr. Bessie B. Moore to promote economic literacy in Arkansas. Its mission is to equip PreK-12 schools with standards-based resources and professional development to teach economics, personal finance, and the free-enterprise system using practical, innovative, and inspiring methods so that Arkansas students may master an understanding of economics and personal finance and apply that knowledge for success in the free-enterprise system.
Economics Arkansas | P.O. Box 3447, Little Rock, AR 72203 | 501-682-4230 | www.economicsarkansas.org