Youth entrepreneurship program expanding to include international students

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A youth entrepreneurship program run through the Haas School of Business will be expanding to include a select group of students from throughout the world this summer.

The Berkeley Business Academy for Youth, a program run through the Center for Young Entrepreneurs at Haas, will add 20 seats for international students as part of its International Berkeley Business Academy for Youth program.

“The way we are thinking about this is we want to give young kids a chance to be exposed to the Berkeley culture and the Berkeley environment,” said professor Teck Ho, director of the Asia Business Center and the faculty sponsor of the international program. “I’m from Asia, and I always think that Berkeley could do a lot more internationally to increase our brand presence and serve our alumni better.”

Ho said the program includes a hands-on team business project, visits to local companies and guest speakers from business-related fields. The additional 20 international students will live in university dorms and take classes with American students at Haas.

The original U.S.-only program, B-BAY, is in its fifth year and will run from July 1 to 12. The all-day program is open to 40 students and is taught by undergraduate and graduate students at Haas, according to the program’s website.

Olive Davis, a director with YEAH, said that students this year have come from across the country and all over the world, with locations including Taiwan, Canada, Utah, Virginia, India and China.

“In this first phase, we’re actually doing Asia and Canada right now, but we’re hoping to go to India and Chile and other places where the university has attracted students,” Davis said.

Although students pay a fee for the program, Ho said accessibility is important.

“We want this program to be accessible to everybody,” Ho said. “Obviously, you have to pay a fee for it, but in the long run, we want to give out scholarships to people who can’t afford it. We are not doing this to make money. It is a good way to energize the alumni and increase our brand presence globally.”

In addition to its summer programs, YEAH offers year-round programs for under-resourced sixth- to 12th-grade Bay Area youth. Proceeds from the summer programs allow the year-round mentorship programs to be offered free of charge to participants.

Mitchell Handler covers academics and administration. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @mitchellhandler.