BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — An army veteran and local entrepreneur is on a mission to turn young adults into budding businessmen.
Jason D. Williams, founder of nonprofit Young Entrepreneur Salute (Y.E.S.), will help 50 young men find their inner moguls this summer through a series of Brooklyn workshops and classes.
Starting on July 6, the six-week program will teach participants skills in business-plan writing, elevator pitching, negotiating and economics.
The new organization is partnering with the city’s Summer Youth Employment Program to reach youths and men aged between 16 through 24.
Williams, who heads his own events production company, said he launched Y.E.S. in April to help men in urban communities.
“These guys have great ideas and passions and it's really about developing and manifesting what they’re dreaming about,” he said.
The 37-year-old will tailor the curriculum to include topics influenced by his military experience in Hohenfels, Germany, and Fort Hood, Tx., by including subjects like discipline, community service and team building.
He said he also hopes to start conversations on police and community relations.
Participants will be coached by mentors who have started their own businesses and currently work in a variety of fields ranging from photography to law.
As part of the curriculum, attendees are expected to work together to conceptualize, plan and host a community block party or fundraiser to collect school supplies and 1,000 backpacks for students in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
The nonprofit will ultimately select a handful of individuals at the end of August to assist them in fundraising and launching their businesses in Brooklyn.
Y.E.S. is raising money to fund uniforms, books and online tutorials for participants.
Workshops will be held at four sites throughout Brooklyn, including Bed-Stuy’s Restoration Corporation and the Brooklyn Neighborhood Improvement Association.
Williams said he hopes to expand Y.E.S. nationally and create opportunities for veterans and those formerly incarcerated.
Following its inaugural summer program, the organization will host year-round entrepreneurship classes starting in September.