Tapping the entrepreneurial spirit

University School's Young Entrepreneur Institute believes that every child should understand and experience entrepreneurship. As a leading organization focused on youth entrepreneurship in the United States, YEI helps students learn entrepreneurial skills, provides opportunities for students, connects with other Northeast Ohio students and entrepreneur organizations, and encourages students to return to Northeast Ohio to pursue careers.

Since its founding in 2006, more than 20,000 students have participated in one or more Young Entrepreneur Institute activities. With the generous support of University School, community foundations and organizations, Young Entrepreneur Institute expanded beyond University School in 2008 and now has partnerships with many schools and organizations throughout the region. More than a thousand educators and schools, both public and private across the region, have benefited from the programs, materials, workshops, conferences, and advice provided by the Institute.

Celebrate Youth Entrepreneurship 2021

Each spring University School hosts a free day-long event that brings together nearly 1,000 middle school and high school students from across Northeast Ohio. A nationally recognized young entrepreneur presents to students in the daytime and to the general public at night. A Young Entrepreneur Market is held following the public evening program, where student entrepreneurs sell their creations. In 2021, the program is limited to the daytime student presentations. The evening public program and market will not be held. Celebrate Youth Entrepreneurship at University School is made possible through the generous support of Burton D. Morgan Foundation.

Our 2021 Featured Speaker is Haile Thomas!

Twenty-year-old Haile Thomas is an international speaker, health activist, vegan food & lifestyle influencer, podcaster, Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and founder/CEO of the nonprofit HAPPY (Healthy Active Positive Purposeful Youth). Haile founded HAPPY when she was 12 years old to address the need for free/affordable plant-based nutrition and culinary education in underserved/at-risk communities as well as in schools and summer camps.

Haile was inspired to pursue this passion after her family successfully reversed her father’s type-2 diabetes through healthy eating and lifestyle choices and upon learning that kids were increasingly being diagnosed with conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Her programs, projects, and initiatives are geared towards engaging, educating, motivating, and empowering young people to live their best lives by making healthy lifestyle choices. Haile has personally engaged with over 35,000 kids since beginning her activism in 2010. She also hosted the podcast “Girl Empowered” where she interviewed inspiring and empowering women.

At 12 years old, Haile worked as the Jr. Chef Advisor for Hyatt Hotel’s “For Kids – By Kids Menu,” with her recipes served at all Hyatt Resorts in North America and the Caribbean. She has been featured on two different food network shows – she was one of 8 young chefs on season one of Rachael vs. Guy Kids-Cook-Off and also on Cupcake Wars Kids – and on CNN, the Today Show, NowThis, BuzzFeed, MTV, The Harry Show, Dr. Oz, Home and Family Show, and the Rachael Ray Show. Haile has also been highlighted in publications including O Magazine, Teen Vogue, and YES Magazine.

Haile will be speaking to students via Zoom on April 28. Click here for more information.

Entrepreneur Programs

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  • Academic Entrepreneurial Programs

    Read more about the High School MBA - the Anderson Scholars Program, Microeconomics, and the History of Capitalism.
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  • Extracurricular Activities

    University School offers opportunities for students to explore business challenges through the Entrepreneur Cup, Tech CupStudent Investment Committee, Stock Market Challenge, JA Titan, Business Roundtable, Middle School Entrepreneur Club (EClub), and Lemonade Day Club.
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  • Summer Entrepreneurial Programs

    Read more about the Morgan Apprenticeship Program and New Summer Camps for Middle School Students.
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  • Student-Run Businesses

    Young Entrepreneur Institute students have started a variety of ventures including floral, clothing, electronics, soap and food businesses.
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  • The Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum

    The Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum is a growing network of high schools in Northeast Ohio that equips students with an entrepreneurial mindset and essential skills by providing exceptional education and real-world experiences in entrepreneurship. Founded in 2012 with the assistance of Young Entrepreneur Institute at University School, the Forum today reaches 7,000 students annually at 22 different private and public high schools that are invited to participate. Click here to connect to the Veale Youth Entrepreneur Forum.
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  • Northeast Ohio Youth Entrepreneur Ecosystem

    Northeast Ohio is fortunate to have one of the strongest youth entrepreneurial ecosystems in the country. With strong leadership and funding from Burton D. Morgan Foundation and The Veale Foundation, Young Entrepreneur Institute helps schools, community organizations and the northeast Ohio business community work together to develop and deliver programs that continuously strengthen entrepreneurial education and entrepreneurship experiences for young people. Click here to learn more about the Youth, Collegiate and Adult Entrepreneurship Ecosystems in Northeast Ohio.

Serving the Region

Our programs have touched tens of thousands of students. We have collaborated with more than a thousand educators and schools across the United States and beyond to share programs, advice, and curriculum. Learn more.

Program Director

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  • Photo of Ilene Frankel

    Mrs. Ilene Frankel 

    216-831-2200 x7488

Middle School Student Pitches CYE Event


Lemonade Day Entrepreneurs


Entrepreneurship News

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Shaker Heights Campus

20701 Brantley Road
Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122
GRADES Junior K-8
Phone: 216-321-8260

Hunting Valley Campus

2785 SOM Center Road
Hunting Valley, Ohio 44022
Phone: 216-831-2200
University School serves 870 boys in Junior Kindergarten to grade 12 on two campuses in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. The School’s mission is to inspire boys of promise to become young men of character who lead and serve. Dedicated faculty, rigorous curriculum, and experiential programs foster intellectual, physical, creative, and moral excellence.