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What is the Young Entrepreneurs Organization?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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The Young Entrepreneurs Organization (YEO) is a professional organization designed to provide support and assistance to entrepreneurs. In 2005, the organization rebranded itself as the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO), but some people still know the group under its old name. There are also a number of mentoring and professional organizations with similar names, such as Young Entreprenuer's Organizations on numerous college campuses and Young Entrepreneurs Associations aimed at high school students. Despite the similarities in their names, these organizations are not connected to the original Young Entrepreneurs Organization.

In 1987, a group of entrepreneurs got together to form the Young Entrepreneurs Organization. They were responding to changes in the business climate that led to increasing numbers of individuals striking out on their own, rather than seeking employment with established companies. The founders recognized that many entrepreneurs could benefit from support as they started their businesses and dealt with the challenges that arose, from hiring practices to sourcing manufacturers.

Several different areas of practice were identified as priorities by the Young Entrepreneurs Organization. One was mentoring, using established business owners to provide advice and assistance to members. Mentoring can include activities, such as panels, to discuss common business issues, as well as one-on-one interaction with business owners. Some people serving as mentors were once early members of the Young Entrepreneurs Organization themselves, and many have extensive experience.

Another area of interest is networking. In the business community, networks can make or break a business. By joining a professional organization, people have instant access to networks that can provide contacts and other resources. Social events provide opportunities for entrepreneurial networking, and these networks can also be used for charitable endeavors, such as fundraising.

Opportunities for education are also provided to members. Global tours give people a chance to see business practices in other nations, to interact with members in a variety of industries, and to help people develop new business practices and techniques. Members can also attend seminars and workshops and read trade publications. Education helps people learn how to run their businesses effectively, while expanding business capacity and developing connections and ties to other members.

Membership standards for the Entrepreneurs Organization are periodically changed. As of 2010, members had to be the heads of their own businesses, make more than $1 million (USD) per year, and be under the age of 50. Members are also required to pay annual dues.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By Terrificli — On May 05, 2014

@Vincenzo -- I'm not sure that is entirely accurate as "adapt or die" has long been the mantra of many professional and trade groups. The Young Entrepreneurs Organization may be more willing than most to adapt change, but that isn't the only group out there stressing innovation.

By Vincenzo — On May 04, 2014

This is an important group for the very simply reason that the economy is not stagnant. Innovation is what creates jobs and entrepreneurs have been the key drivers for that in just about any economic revolution you'd care to name.

Keep in mind that this bunch is entirely different from a lot of trade groups and professional organizations. Its members are more focused on change and adaptation than making sure the status quo is preserved in an attempt to boost that profitability of members and the viability of the group.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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