CEOs will volunteer one-on-one time with middle- and high-schoolers and answer their questions as the students prepare to launch and run their own businesses as part of their YEA! class. 15 students are part of this year’s Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce inaugural YEA class.  They will have the opportunity to meet in a CEO Roundtable discussion on February 23rd.  CEO’s will share their own entrepreneurial story, offer guidance, and give direction to the class.

The CEO Roundtable will take place the evening of February 23 from 5:30 to 7:30pm a the Center for Collaboration, 607 SW F Street in Bentonville Arkansas. The public is invited to attend the CEO roundtable to hear from the CEO’s and the YEA students.

YEA! teaches kids ages 11 to 18 how to identify their passions, develop a business idea, write a business plan, pitch investors for funding, and obtain all the necessary components to create a fully, formed and functioning business or social movement by the end of the 30-week class.

This is the first year for the program in Bentonville and students meet each Tuesday on the NorthWest Arkansas Community College campus to work on their business plans.  The students will present to an investor panel and compete for a change to go to regionals. The YEA program is sponsored nationally by Sam’s Club and local sponsors include the Bank of Gravett and Arkansas Sign and Banner.

As a non-profit organization, YEA! relies on the generosity of the community and of sponsors; people who identify with entrepreneurship and want to help pave the way for the future business leaders of tomorrow. “YEA! strengthens the community,” said Gayle Jagel, Founder and CEO of YEA!. “Our program managers and instructors seek out people in every facet of the business community to help our students’ dreams become reality.”

For more information on the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce YEA program, contact Dawn Stewart at