Marysville Bunsold Middle School seventh-grader Jesse Davis, 12, is weaving his own story.

Marysville Bunsold Middle School seventh-grader Jesse Davis, 12, is weaving his own story.

He's one of 22 area students that just started a 30-week course with YEA! -- the Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Union County.

It's a program open to students in grades 6-12 and designed to help to them learn about how to cultivate an idea into a business.

Davis' aspiration is to be an author.

"I've always gotten ideas for stories and characters since I was little," Davis said.

"I just didn't do anything with it. Finally I decided well I'll just write them down in the form of a story."

Davis says he is working on his third short story and has ideas for three more.

"They're about Greek mythology, and they're kind of some stories using some made up Greek characters and some actual Greek mythology," he said.

"I just found that expressing my ideas through a story was the best way I could do it and it was really fun for me."

Chaz Freutel is the local YEA! program manager. The first class in the local program began last year and graduated 18 students and launched 12 businesses. The class for the program's second session began Oct. 25.

Freutel says students typically meet in the Marysville Early College High School on Tuesday evenings but occasionally meet in the Marysville Entrepreneurial Center or go on field trips. The group plans to visit the Honda Heritage Museum on Nov. 8.

Freutel says the class is broken up into three 10-week programs. The class meets once a week for 30 weeks resulting in a total of 90 hours of class.

The first 10 weeks is called Spark an Idea and is for spawning idea generation and opportunity recognition.

The second 10 weeks is Build Your Business and includes how to develop and write business plans. The third 10-week session is Launch Your Business. That session is where ideas go from an idea to an action.

"Some of these kids are coming into the program already having an idea, some already have a business up and running, and some have no idea at all," Freutel said.

"The first two classes, we've been doing some education of what an entrepenuer is."

Freutel said the first segment allows kids to pitch ideas, give feedback to other students and at times challenge each other.

"How can you sell that? Who are you going to sell that to? How are you going to manufacture that," Freutel said are the common lessons.

Davis says that is one of the things he's really liked about the class so far.

"I like that the people are very nice to each other but they're not afraid to give you suggestions," he said.

"People are very open with what they want to tell you, but they're not mean in saying it so you can get some good corrective criticism, but also people are very nice to you."

Freutel says the YEA! USA program began about 12 years ago at the University in Rochester. The Marysville program is one of five YEA! franchises in Ohio. There are 102 nationwide.

Freutel says the national program allows franchises to charge anywhere from $195 to $995 per student. Cost to the students in the Marysville program is $195 each.

The group does have to work on raising investors for a $37,000 budget. The group has raised $24,000 so far. That's two-thirds of the budget.

Businesses from the program have been quite creative according to Freutel.

A student from last year's class who won a competition with business investors is finalizing a patent for something called a Slap-Wrap.

"It is unique idea that doesn't exist," Freutel said.

"Basically what it is, is a protection for wrapping paper. A plastic tube that slaps around the wrapping paper to keep it from tearing and crimping."

Davis' advice to students looking to get involved next year is to "go for it."

"Even if your business doesn't work out as you wanted to do or if you are not even sure if you want to make a business this could be a great way to figure out, really, want to do even if that's not making a business," Davis said.

"And if you do want to make a business this is a great way to get started and actually get a business going."

Davis said he can't wait to tell his own tale.

"I'm hoping to get out of it a business where I can help share my ideas and stories to others," Davis said. "I've always wanted to make a business expressing my creativity and when my mom told me about this program it seemed like a great way to get there."

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