Memphis Entrepreneurship Academy was born in a Starbucks cafe in Memphis, TN, in the latter part of 2012. Kelly Price and LaKeisha Harrison were having a casual conversation about politics and world events when the conversation steered towards education and the state of what was then known as Memphis City Schools. I had just completed a paper that studied the school system and had learned that the high school graduation rate in Memphis was less than 70% at the time. We both talked about why believed this was so and discussed what we thought the missing element in education was. We concluded that the missing element was entrepreneurship. After a little research, I read a few books and articles that concluded that teaching entrepreneurship in schools increased high school graduation rates and allowed children to connect academic teaching to the real world. From there MEA was born and in April of 2013 we began planning for our first ever summer entrepreneurship camp!
From June 2013 to July 2013, we took 10 kids and developed a program where they would build a lemonade stand business. We would teach them all of the basics of business ( marketing, product development, etc) but what would make us different is that we focused on developing their confidence and strengthening their foundational reading and mathmatic knowledge. We worked on developing their leadership skills as well as their academic skills. The camp was a success l and we knew that we were headed in the right direction. Since we couldn’t change the school system, we discovered that we could affect the child in that system in a positive way by opening their eyes to a world of possibilities for their own future.
Mission: To inspire children to thrive for higher goals, good citizenship, to conduct themself as to bring credit to themselves, family, and community. To develop future leaders for our community and nation to build a better economy for the future.