Young Entrepreneurs Excellence Program

The Young Entrepreneurs Excellence Program (YEEP) is a Baden-Württemberg-focused support program in which selected talents are actively accompanied from school into an entrepreneurial career.

The Young Entrepreneurs Excellence Program (YEEP) for students in Baden-Württemberg is a pioneering, interdisciplinary educational program. It aims to accompany selected talents from school to a promising entrepreneurial career. The program was designed to create a new generation of entrepreneurs who are able to recognize and actively shape current challenges, especially with regard to climate change, digitalization and demographic change, as entrepreneurial opportunities.

The program offers a unique blend of technology, management, innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition to some basic compulsory modules, students have the opportunity to independently choose elective modules to tailor the program to their individual goals and abilities. The goals of the program are diverse and include promoting professional development, access to highly qualified mentors, creating contacts with C-level executives, company visits, building a lifelong professional network, the opportunity for recognition of achievements in the form of ECTS credits and the promotion of interdisciplinary education.

The program places great emphasis on hands-on learning and offers students the opportunity to carry out real-life projects independently in parallel to school. Each year, around 30 talented students from all over Baden-Württemberg will be accepted into the program. YEEP is intended to start in the final years of secondary school and accompany the talented students all the way through to university or an entrepreneurial career.

In addition to supporting students individually, YEEP also aims to strengthen entrepreneurial education in schools as a whole. The excellence format builds on other programs in the ecosystem and deepens the knowledge and skills that students have already acquired. For example, the program is not only aligned with the content of the Entrepreneurship Talent Academy of the German Business Foundation, which already receives funding, but also with its concept. YEEP integrates itself into the existing offerings and encourages students to make greater use of them to discover and develop entrepreneurial talent.

The special significance of YEEP lies in its ability to not only support individual students, but also to bring about sustainable change in the education system. The program has the potential to improve equal opportunities in education and strengthen the entrepreneurial culture in schools.

YEEP is characterized by innovative and practice-oriented approaches. In the applied learning formats, experienced experts from industry and academia lead intensive workshops in which real-life examples are used to empower participants in new methods and approaches. In addition, top insights in the form of excursions and on-site company visits offer participants the opportunity to gain fresh impetus and ask questions to experts.

Through the career support of top-class, assigned mentors and advisory services, we support the individual career paths of our participants. The shared experiences at our events and facilitated peer learning create a motivated community of talents who support and inspire each other. The targeted offerings, including events from the Gründermotor ecosystem and our partners, enable participants to build a strong professional network.


Background of the project

In late 2023, ENI, the Karl Schlecht Foundation and the Vector Foundation joined forces to provide even more targeted support for talented school students in the field of entrepreneurship with YEEP. The foundations are not only sponsors, but also close exchange partners and co-creators. Other collaboration partners in the implementation of the project are the Hochschule der Medien and the Gründermotor Plattform. This public-private partnership is made up of the non-profit Gründermotor GmbH and the publicly financed Gründermotor state initiative. On this platform, public and private funds are used sustainably to develop Baden-Württemberg's start-up ecosystem. Together with these and many other partners, we look forward to anchoring entrepreneurship education even more firmly in school education and utilizing synergies from across the state.

Find more information on the project here


This image shows Aziza Lichtner

Aziza Lichtner


Research Associate

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