create / 2016

Young creative entrepreneurs and small business internship program

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by ICON CDC

We provide a creative entrepreneur training program for youth and give them practical experience by placing them with a struggling local small business.


Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

Los Angeles Mayor's Office of Economic Development

Please describe your project proposal.

The project begins with a world-class youth entrepreneur training program encompassing activity-based leadership, marketing, financial, career development workshops and youth mentoring. The second part of the project places these highly trained youth at minority and women-owned small businesses applying what they learned by giving creative, innovative and technology-based business support: marketing, website, social media, and bookkeeping, etc.

Which of the create metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • Employment in the creative industries
  • Gini coefficient
  • Jobs per capita
  • Measures of cultural and global economic influence (“soft power”)
  • Minority- and women-owned firms
  • High growth startups
  • Recruiting and retention rates for local higher education institutions

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • San Fernando Valley
  • South LA
  • County of Los Angeles
  • City of Los Angeles

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to create?

The training of youth entrepreneurs and exposing them to the city resources will be a long term asset to the economic development of Los Angeles. This may be particularly true for youth entrepreneurs that come from low and moderate income neighborhoods or with a criminal justice background. Research indicates that youth entrepreneurship training will help (1) Promote social and cultural identity, (2) Build a stronger sense of community, (3) Give youth, especially at-risk youth, a sense of meaning and belonging. Supporting research: White and Kenyon (2000). “Enterprise-Based Youth Employment Policies, Strategies and Programmes.” Draft Report to ILO, Geneva.

This pilot program will be used to develop an entrepreneurship track for Mayor Eric Garcetti’s summer youth jobs program. Hire LA’s Youth is one of the City’s most exciting programs to put young adults to work, ensuring they have “first time” job experience that will set them on the path of lifetime earners. This year (2017), the City of Los Angeles committed to providing 15,000 Jobs per capita for young people ages 14 to 24 who live in the city of Los Angeles. This resource serves youth looking to put their news skills to task and it serves the small business owners who are looking to give back and hire new talent.

By putting these HeArt of LA youth entrepreneurship training program participants to work, the business will benefit from having a highly motivated young adult in their workplace and the youth will gain by having a crucial career hands-on experience. Our program also focuses on developing small businesses who are creating jobs at a higher rate than bigger firms. Success of local businesses is directly linked to job per capita increase.

Our youth program will not only support Minority- and women-owned firms who have up to date technological and social media knowledge but will also foster and create a new generation of minority and women-owned firms and by our recruitment efforts to women’s centers, first-generation youth, sororities in local higher education institutes, local non-profits, etc. An intended consequence from growing minority and women owned businesses is enriching culture, political views, and foreign relations increasing Los Angeles’s global economic influence(soft power).

Recruiting and retention rates for local higher education institutions will increase thanks to our program as we will partner with local higher education institutes to have representatives come and make presentations and engage our youth about their respective institutions and programs.

Youth that participate in this program are innovative, creative, community oriented, hardworking, dreamers, and possibly entrepreneurs in their own respect - full of untapped potential. The HeArt of LA will help unleash this potential by connecting youth to resources and programs will create long-term Angeleno entrepreneurs in our great city.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Our success will be determined by evaluating entrance and exit interviews for each participant. Also, confidential feedback surveys will be handed out after each entrepreneur training workshop to evaluate workshop material, speaker and instructor. In addition, our program evaluation includes setting goals for all the metrics we are proposing to effect and tracking the outcomes for each post program.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money
  • Volunteers
  • Advisors/board members
  • Staff
  • Publicity/awareness
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles etc.)
  • Education/training
  • Technical infrastructure (computers etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support
  • Quality improvement research