During the summer of 2016, Isabella and Amila Mazza created their most successful lemonade stand of their young entrepreneurial careers. From their success they were anxious to explore how they could expand their lemonade stand to new markets in the community. Through their inquiry, Ithaca’s Youth Entrepreneurship Market (YEM) was born.

The mission of YEM is to inspire Ithaca’s future business leaders through a hands-on learning experience. YEM provides entrepreneurship workshops about idea generation, business planning, financial planning, and marketing, supported by local entrepreneurs inspiring students with their success stories and one on one coaching. Local entrepreneurs who have supported the program include: Emmy’s Organics, Firelight Camps, Lively Run Goat Dairy, DSP Shows, Nikki Green, Erica Marx Coaching, Grand Design, and more to come in the future.

After the training, students showcase their businesses at a youth market at Press Bay Alley, as well as the Thursday Night Farmer’s Market at Steamboat Landing. The program is made possible by local financial support from the Lane Family Fund of the Community Foundation; venue support from Press Bay Alley, REV & Cornell’s eHub; as well as sustainability support from New Roots Charter School. Co-founders Michael Mazza and Ethan Ash are grateful for all of the community support.