Building from Within: Mentoring Youth in Business

Learning Approach: Skills Building

| Sheraton New Orleans, Nottoway | Posted: Tuesday, 8:30-9:45 a.m.

Entrepreneurial thinkers make better employees, government workers, public representatives, leaders, and, of course, better business owners. Communities that train young entrepreneurs from within are stronger and able to sustain a viable culture that understands the relationship between risk and growth. Emerging entrepreneurs are more apt to invest in their local community if it can clearly demonstrate how new ventures can be feasible. Youth are confident, liberal, upbeat, and open to change a Main Street asset. They are willing to take risk and can often influence family members to invest in entrepreneurial activities, an aspect often overlooked. The earlier these potential entrepreneurs are introduced to mentors, the more likely they are to succeed. Finding mentors from within the community to support youth entrepreneurial programs is a MUST reach kids who have the aptitude to "become their own boss." Youth equity can leverage community growth and assembling mentors who can guide them during these early stages will contribute to the success of Main Street.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify youth that have the drive and capacity for entrepreneurial activity.
  2. Discover tools for engaging youth in entrepreneurial activities through Main Street.
  3. Identify mentors and giving them the tools to assist Main Street.
  4. Learn how to attract youth and mentors into an entrepreneurial education program


For more information contact:

Todd Tracy, IN(ALLIANCE), LLC
Todd Tracy is a partner with IN(ALLIANCE), a preservation consultancy specializing in discovering vital solutions for historic communities. Todd has served as a Small Business Development Center director, counselor, and mentor with the Illinois Entrepreneurship Network and prior to that was a small business loan fund manager for a regional planning commission. Todd has many years experience as a small business entrepreneur, previous owner of Mulberry Hill Picture Framing and currently a partner with Arc Properties, LLC, a real estate investment group based in Atlanta, GA. Todd has worked with multiple client teams in different corporate, industry, and competitive settings with the goal of understanding their markets, analyzing their opportunities, examining financial situations, and developing and implementing integrated and workable solutions that can be trusted. Todd specializes in training and mentoring entrepreneurs in the understanding of current trends within the marketplace which will determine their success. Youth entrepreneurial development targeting age's fifth grade through young adult has been a passion and profession of Todd's. He derived this skill from his own success with Mulberry Hill Picture Framing, a multi-million dollar commercial custom picture framing business, which he conceived and launched in his parent's basement at 16 years old and managed for the next seventeen years. Todd's experience as a lifelong "from the trenches" entrepreneur, business counselor, and mentor has lent well to his passion for public speaking on rural community economic development through commercial expansion.