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Our Mission as a nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3), is to equip children with tools of knowledge and innovation in order to create a foundation that fosters the spirit of entrepreneurship, while enriching and enhancing their academic success. 


The Why...

Children are completely capable and eager to generate ideas that can one day change our world. Often, they just don't know where to start! 

Studies show, as we age, we are less likely to take chances. The ability to take chances however, is an important attribute in small business development and entrepreneurship. 

By fostering a program that values idea over grade, we not only open up the playing field to embrace students from all academic levels--not just those who are gifted, we encourage thoughtful risk taking and idea development. Studies have found over 35 percent of successful entrepreneurs have dyslexia or other forms of learning disabilities. With access to a program like $tart-Up, we are setting our children up to embrace differences, acknowledge strengths, and empowering them to be somebody!

Or Should I say...the Why NOT?


Benefits of an Entrepreneurship Education 

  • Increased desire to attend school
  • Fewer Discipline Referrals and conflict amongst peers
  • higher academic achievement in the classroom, on standardized/performance testing, and documented through student portfolios and assessments
  • student learn to engage in higher level thinking through recognition of opportunity and use of problem solving skills
  • Broader awareness of career opportunities
  • grasps entrepreneural options and the vital role they play in society
  • considers vital building steps to in starting a business
  • Basic understanding of financial concepts
  • Acquires economical understanding
  • Learns to explore ethic issues 
  • Increased sense of "Locus of Control"
  • reinforcement of 21st Century Learning Practices 

*Source: National Content Standard of Entrepreneurship Council*

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How We Got Started...


While Founder, Amber wakem, would love to take all the credit, the idea for $tart-Up! actually came from her daughter. She states:

"Our family was gearing up for a community garage sale and my daughter, Harper, decided she wanted be involved. When we asked her "how", she told us, she wanted to have a lemonade stand. After a few open-ended questions, Harper realized grown-ups don't care for lemonade in the morning---they want coffee!  

with that, she sat off to create her product "Flipping Coffee", by challenging herself to find the answers to the questions we proposed, researching what people liked in their coffee, visiting a local coffee store, and coming to the realization part of her ensured success came from having support (employee).

from start to finish Harper and her employee (a good friend she carefully considered that would proof to be beneficial to a successful outcome) were able to bring their vision to life. Of course, because of their age, they needed a little computer assistance and help getting to places.

In the end, her vision made over $100 profit in just a few hours---roughly two dollars more than the state minimum wage when divided between the two. Reflecting on this, I realized what a valuable lesson she had learned. I watched her engage Higher Level thinking skills like: product marketing, business development, cost average, and the utilization of branding. What I found even more powerful was how She was able to take those skills and translate them into classroom success and confidence. as a dyslexic child, those both where areas she had previously struggled with. 

It is because of that experience, I full heartedly believe that $tart-Up! will provide an incredible opportunity to interested children by empowering them to bring their ideas to life with real time goals, deadlines, and opportunity. I can't wait to see what our future leaders are have to offer!"