Twin brothers from South Gwinnett High School— Darion and DeAndre Nelson— were named national champions in the inaugural Youth Entrepreneurs (YE) Summit Big Idea National Competition, earning $2,500 in prize money. The competition for high school entrepreneurs represents the culmination of months of hard work by students to develop their boldest and most innovative business ideas. The Big Idea finals were a national stage for students to pitch their business proposals and put their entrepreneurial skills into action for a panel of expert judges.
The Nelsons’ Youngest Doin’ It business, also known as the YDI Experience, is a teenage based concert and party promotions business that provides a safe and fun environment for teens ages 14- 18 in metro Atlanta. The company’s goal is to create a space for teens outside of the normal boundaries of school or home.
YDI was selected by the panel of experts for its ingenuity, creativity, and thorough business strategy. The two brothers, who are 12th graders this year, intend to invest their prize money in their business for further growth.
Over the course of this three-day Summit, 100 YE students from around the country heard from leading business and entrepreneurial figures, networked with YE peers and alumni, and participated in workshops to hone their business management skills.
YE is a year-long high school elective program that instills the business skills, creative risk-taking, and personal values necessary to succeed in today’s market. Founded in 1991, the YE program has served as a platform for students to gain business development skills and build the confidence to explore their entrepreneurial passions—principles that help students achieve success in business and in life. What began as an eight-week program has since evolved into a year-long, accredited elective course for high school students. Nationally, nearly 3,400 students participated in YE during the 2017-18 school year.