Y.E.S. for Arkansas

Youth Entrepreneur Showcase (Y.E.S.) For Arkansas 5th–8th Grade Business Plan Competition

The Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation, an affiliate of Arkansas Capital, created the Youth Entrepreneur Showcase (Y.E.S.) for Arkansas business plan competition in 2005 to introduce young Arkansans in grades 5–8 to the potential and opportunities of entrepreneurship.

Since the first competition in 2006, more than 6,400 students and teachers have competed for nearly $67,000 in cash awards, trophies, and medals.

Students who compete in Y.E.S. are taking part in a project-based learning activity that requires higher-order thinking skills. They work in teams to think of a business idea that could make money, which also encourages them to think about innovation and what their futures could be.

The team is then charged with creating its own business plan to submit for the competition. The top 25 finalist teams are invited to Park Plaza in Little Rock for the final round of the competition, Y.E.S. for Arkansas Expo Day, to exhibit and market their concepts and products to a team of judges. and to mall patrons.  The event concludes with the naming of the winners and an awards presentation.

There is no cost to enter the Y.E.S. competition, and students have everything to gain. Although they may not win, teachers say that competing in Y.E.S. challenges students to use their core reading, writing, spelling, and math skills. The process also brings out their students’ communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creative skills – key skills that are part of 21st century education.



  1. Y.E.S. for Arkansas is open to any Arkansas elementary, middle, or home-schooled student currently enrolled in grades 5-8.
  2. Team members can be in the same grade or a combination of grades 5-8. In cases in which participating schools also have 9th-grade students, any teams formed that include 9th-grade students will need to compete in the Y.E.S. for Arkansas 2.0 competition.
  3. Team size is limited to six members.
  4. Teams can be from classrooms, after-school clubs and organizations, churches, etc.
  5. All teams must be sponsored by a 5th- through 8th-grade teacher. Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation (AEAF) will consider a sponsor who is not a teacher, but this must be approved by AEAF before business plans are submitted. Please notify AEAF by emailing sfrazeur@arcapital.com. Sponsors cannot be a parent or other relative of any team member.
    Sponsors may have more than one team in the competition.
  6. The business plans must reflect that the business idea is a for-profit product or service. Non-profit concepts are not eligible. The product or service cannot be fictional in nature.
  7. Each team may submit only one plan in the competition.
  8. Business plans must represent the original work of each team.
  9. Not every circumstance can be anticipated. AEAF reserves the right to disqualify any team that violates the rules, regulations, or the spirit of the competition. All Y.E.S. for Arkansas competitors and sponsors are expected to conduct themselves in an ethical manner.
  10. Submissions and judging for Y.E.S. for Arkansas are processed through StartupCompete.co (formerly iStart.org), part of the Global Entrepreneurship Network. To participate, the sponsor must create a StartupCompete.co account. (If you already have an iStart.org account, you do not need to set up a new account.)
  11. Click below for instructions on how to sign up with a new account or log in from an existing account.


How to Create Startup Compete (formerly iStart) Accounts

iStart.org is now StartupCompete.co, which is powered by the Global Entrepreneurship Network. If you already have an iStart account, it will work for Startup Compete and you do not need to create a new account.

To compete in Y.E.S. for Arkansas, sponsors must create a Startup Compete account. If you plan to sponsor more than one team, you will be able to register all your teams through this account. As you move through the setup process, be aware that “Account” and “Profile” mean the same thing.

To register for the 2017 competition, go to yesforarkansas2016.startupcompete.co.

At the upper-left side of the page, you will see an orange button with “Log In / Register.” Click on this button. A box with a gold strip across the top will pop up on the screen.


Submitting Intents to Compete greatly helps in preparations for the number of judges that need to be recruited for the competition. If you’re still not sure about a team’s participation by the Intent to Compete deadline, please file one anyway. Submitting intents does not obligate sponsors or teams to the competition.

Also, if all the information needed by the intent is not yet known by the Intent to Compete deadline, submit at least one team member’s name and class and the school information. All team names do not need to be finalized until the business plan is submitted.

The Intents to Compete Deadline is 11:59 p.m. Friday, October 28.


  1. Go to yesforarkansas2017.startupcompete.co and log in. (Click here for instructions on setting up a Startup Compete account.)
  2. Click on the orange tab at the top left. If you had an existing Startup Compete account, it will say “Manage Ideas.” You will need to do step 3 for the 2017 competition.
  3. Click on “Register New Business / Concept.” (If you have entered teams in Y.E.S. in previous years, you will see those registrations. Scroll through them until you see this button at the bottom.) You will be taken to a page with a box asking you to “Complete your Listing for Startup Compete’s Public Directory.”
  4. For the purposes of completing the Intent to Compete process, you only need to fill in the “Business / Concept” and “Business / Concept Summary” boxes.
  5. The “Business / Concept” is the name of the business plan. If you do not have a business plan finalized yet, it’s OK to enter a generic name.
  6. The “Business / Concept Summary” is a summary of your business plan idea. If you do not have a business plan yet, enter a few brief words.
  7. After you fill out these two boxes, that’s it. You are not required to fill out any other information on the page, including the option at the bottom to “Display Your Business on the Startup Compete Public Directory,” unless you want to do so.
  8. Click “Save” at the bottom of the page. You will then be taken to the Startup Compete Competition Participant Agreement. Feel free to read the agreement if you like, but you can go ahead and click “I Agree.”
  9. You will then be taken to an “Application Page,” where you will be prompted to complete sponsor, team member, and school information.  If you do not yet know who your team members will be, that’s OK. You can update this information anytime until November 10, when business plans are due.
  10. Be sure to click “Save” when you’re finished.

You will then be taken back to your profile page. You should see the business name you just entered in the “Business Ideas” tab.

Sponsors must submit an intent to compete for each team. Repeat steps 3-9 above.

NOTE:  After submitting, you may get an email from Startup Compete with the subject line prompting you to register your team. Don’t worry – you’ve gotten this prompt because you’ve submitted the intent. This is a part of the system that is now asking you to complete the next step, which is submitting the business plan. You have until November 10 to do so.


  1. Business plans must be a minimum of 5 pages and no more than 10.
  2. The cover page and table of contents are not counted as part of the page number limits.
  3. With the exception of the cover page and the table of contents, all pages must be typed in 12-point Times New Roman or Arial font and pages must be numbered.
  4. Paragraphs can be single- or double-spaced.
  5. Page numbers must be included on each page (except the cover page and the table of contents).

Business Plan Format, Cover Page, Table of Contents (10 points)

Please assemble the business plans in the following order:
Cover Page
Include the:
Name of the company
Name(s) of all team members
Teacher’s name, title, email address, and phone number
School name and full mailing address
A photo, drawing, or graphic of the product or service. Please ensure the image is saved as a smaller file before placing it on the cover page.

Table of Contents
Company Overview (10 Points)
Provide an overview of the company and its product or service. Include the company’s mission, history, goals, objectives, and the backgrounds and roles of the management team.

Product or Service Description (10 Points)
What are the features and benefits of the product or service? Explain why the product or service is better than that of the competitors.

Innovation / Creativity (10 Points)
How is the product or service new or different from what is currently in the marketplace?

Marketing Strategy (10 Points)
Define the target market for the product or service and the company’s sales approach.

Financials (10 Points)
Include both a statement of what funds are needed to make and produce the product and an income statement.

Please ensure plans are proofed for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and proper sentence construction.

Business plans will be judged by a team of community and business leaders throughout Arkansas. As they read the plans, they will ultimately consider the entire business concept, including feasibility, the potential to generate revenue, and the ability to implement the business.

Preparing to Upload the Plans
Plans will need to be converted to PDF in order to be uploaded to Startup Compete (formerly iStart). Please give this PDF document the same name as that of your business. When the conversion is complete, please ensure all pages were properly converted. Plans that cannot be opened or that are missing pages cannot be judged and will be disqualified.

Get information and instructions here on how to upload the business plan to Startup Compete (formerly iStart) here.


The deadline to submit business plans for the 2016 Y.E.S. for Arkansas competition has passed.

Before you upload your plan, please make sure it is proofed for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and proper sentence construction.

Your plan will need to be converted to PDF in order to upload it to Startup Compete (formerly iStart). Please give this PDF document the same name as that of your business.

When the PDF conversion is complete, please ensure all pages were properly converted. Plans that cannot be opened or are missing pages cannot be judged and will be disqualified.

Don’t take chances on your hard work going to waste — proofread your plan carefully!

To submit:

  1. Go to yesforarkansas2016.startupcompete.co and log in. Click on your account name at the upper right hand corner of the page to access your profile. Click on the “Business Ideas” tab.
  2. Find the business name you entered in the Intent to Compete process. Click “Edit.”
  3. Update the name of the business if it changed since submitting the Intent to Compete.
  4. Update your content in the “Business / Concept Summary” box. This should be a short, two- to three-sentence paragraph stating your company’s purpose.
  5. No further information is required. You do not need to check the option at the bottom that asks, “Display Your Business on the Startup Compete Public Directory?” unless you choose to do so.
  6. When finished with this page, click “Save.” You will then be taken to the Startup Compete Competition Participant Agreement. Feel free to read the agreement if you like, but you can go ahead and click “I Agree.” You will then be taken to the Application page.
  7. Update the sponsor, school, and team member information. You will then see the prompt to upload your business plan.Congratulations and good luck!Click here to find out more about the next step in the Y.E.S. Competition — the announcement of the Top 25 Finalists and the 2016 Y.E.S. for Arkansas Expo Day.


The Top 25 scoring teams get their chance to show off and sell their products and services to both judges and the public alike at Park Plaza in Little Rock!


We have cash and other prizes for winners in the Best Business Plan, Most Innovative, Best Marketing Piece, and Best Retail Booth Display categories!


Y.E.S. has been around longer than some of today’s competitors! Nearly 7,500 students have competed since the first Y.E.S.competition in 2006. Who were the winners?