Young students are spending their Summer creating their own business plan within the ag industry, most of the students are from West Fresno. Program coordinators say it’s helping keep teenagers off the streets and plan for a better future.
It’s an entrepreneurship crash course, being taught to young teenagers through the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship program at Fresno State.
“After learning different stuff about it, I’m actually thinking about going into this type of skill set cause it’s actually really fun,” Jihad Arafi said.
It’s been two weeks and students are learning how to create a business plan, how to market their product, and how the sales process works.
“Whose your target market? All the basics you need to get you out there and get started on building a business,” Dakota Smith with the Lyles Young Entrepreneur Incubator said.
It’s called the sweet potato project. The West Fresno Family Resource Center partnered up with Fresno State and a farmer to help students plant sweet potatoes. In the next few weeks, they will continue to create a marketable product.
“As they grow up and as they make those decisions about life they’re gonna look at this experience and think maybe one day I can be a business owner, we planted that seed,” Yolanda Randles said.
Yolanda Randles runs the family resource center and launched the program in Fresno because she believes it’s important to keep teenagers off the streets and show them an alternative.
“Whatever they wanna do, they’re gonna take this and apply it to life somehow so it’s gonna give them encouragement and motivation. They will come together and think together, solve problems together,” Patrick Hamilton said.
The program is funded through a state grant and will run for the next five years. The students will be harvesting the sweet potatoes in September and will sell them at farmer’s markets.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

By Lucero Benitez | lbenitez@ksee.com