I Am Young America is a social venture that promotes youth entrepreneurship as a means to combat unemployment and boost economic impact in cities. Our mission is to help revitalize American cities by empowering young, diverse entrepreneurs to launch businesses and mobilize citizens everywhere to champion them.
We got our start back in 2009 with I Am Young Detroit, an interactive, hip and vibrant blog that allowed users to nominate the young entrepreneurs that we would profile each month.
I Am Young America was launched in beta in 2015, hoping to grow on I Am Young Detroit’s early success. We highlight how teens, 20-somethings and 30-somethings all over the country are making their mark on their cities through entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation, this time also providing them with the tools to help them do it.
Through local content, guides, apps, hacks, services, and programs we support America’s under 40 entrepreneurs.
The overall challenge we’re trying to tackle is the unemployment of America’s youngest (16 to 25) and brightest thinkers in urban cities. In March 2015, the overall U.S. unemployment rate was at 5.5 percent, and the unemployment rate of workers under the age of 25 were at 12.3 percent: 2.2 times as high. I Am Young America proposes entrepreneurship as a solution to this high unemployment rate of America’s youth.
The inaccessibility to the valuable resources available in local entrepreneurial ecosystems is another problem. Big cities often operate in silos, making it hard for the next generation of entrepreneurs to benefit from the valuable insights of those who came before them. We’re bridging that gap with our Fellowship Program.
We’ve also found that in large urban cities like our Detroit hometown, there is an inability for citizens to recognize, support and engage with young entrepreneurs easily. Our CitySpotters platform was designed to tackle that issue head on. Through it we hope to mobilize the general public to create an ecosystem of recognizing, connecting with, and supporting America’s youngest entrepreneurs.
Our inspired content includes the core storytelling of our website: we highlight with video, photography, illustration and written word, the stories of America’s most promising young civic entrepreneurs.
These are the trendsetting owners of brick and mortar retail stores, hip restaurants, tech startups, craft brands, and innovative products.
See a growing list of the programs and services we offer below.
WHAT WE DO
I Am Young America Fellowship
Our Fellowship Program matches six of tomorrow’s civic entrepreneurs (ages 16 to 24) with current startups to fellowship in Detroit for up to a year.
Our Fellows work up to four days per week at host Startup companies and once per week at I Am Young America’s headquarters to gain insights into startup life.
With our CitySpotters app, everyday citizens inform us whenever they spot a promising new business or movement led by a young citizen doer using our app.
Accepted contributions may appear on one of our city blogs and will be rewarded with cool gifts that encourage local spending with the young local entrepreneurs featured. The app was a finalist in Code for America’s “Apps for Detroit” Challenge..
We publish universal “hacks” — simple downloadable guidebooks that aim to help make our users’ entrepreneurial journey easier.
Membership + Services
We believe young entrepreneurs, no matter what stage they’re in, should have access to high quality yet affordable business services. We offer the very best in startup services, on a dime.
Whatever stage your business is in, I Am Young America provides you with the tools, resources and services that can help your business grow. We offer flexible and affordable solutions that you can use from home and around your schedule.