Young Entrepreneurship Program

The Junior League of Tampa’s Young Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) presented by Valley Bank aims to grow the potential, leadership, and influence of female business owners. Launched in 2014, the program offers a unique and valuable opportunity for local entrepreneurs to showcase their brands, products, and mission to all of Tampa Bay.

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*Applications received after the 2023 deadline of midnight on July 24, 2023 will be considered for 2024.

QUALIFICATIONS

The awards and grant are open to women who meet the following qualifications:

  • Over 21 to under 40 years of age at the time of Holiday Gift Market
  • Majority owners of their business
  • Sell a product that is a unique addition to the Holiday Gift Market selection
  • Are not current members of The Junior League of Tampa

JUDGING CATEGORIES

Winners will submit an application and be chosen based upon: 

  1. Products and Brand Story 
  2. Preparedness for Market 
  3. Social Media Impact

AWARDS

The winner of the Young Entrepreneurship Program receives:

  • A free booth at Holiday Gift Market to sell her products
  • A $3,000 grant from the Dorothea Adell Tinsley Family Foundation to grow her business
  • Business media promotion through social media, television, and print to enhance brand recognition throughout Tampa Bay Area
  • A feature in The Junior League of Tampa’s Sandspur Magazine
  • Spotlight branded signage during Holiday Gift Market
  • Mentorship for Market

Entrepreneur on the Rise Awardees
Additional Runners up may be awarded, based on outstanding applications, and will receive benefits of participation at the Holiday Gift Market provided by the Dorothea Adell Tinsley Family Foundation

THE ENTREPRENEUR ON THE RISE PROGRAM

In 2019, the Entrepreneur on the Rise program (EOR – formerly known as the YEP Incubator) began as an expansion of the reach of YEP. There is only one YEP recipient, however, the program received an abundance of applications from additional women-owned businesses that could also benefit from a presence at Holiday Gift Market.

An inaugural class of 5 applicants were selected and provided free one-day pop-up booths at the 2019 Holiday Gift Market. These businesses were: Sustainable Marketplace, Vetue Boutique, Preston & Grace, Meg Britten art and illustration, and Nicole Macaroon.

In 2020, two EOR businesses, Wildly Free Jewelry and The Southern Stripe, were provided with complimentary virtual space at the online Holiday Gift Market and $500 stipends to further their growth.

In 2021, two businesses received subsidized booths at the Holiday Gift Market, Sweet Pea Lane, and Marrin Costello.’

In 2022, two businesses, The Pretzel Pantry and Angelina Bakes, received subsidized booths at the Holiday Gift Market, a feature in the Sandspur Magazine, showcase at a Junior League General Membership Meeting, and their goods part of the VIP Preview Party Gift Package.

The Entrepreneur on the Rise program will continue to evolve in 2022 and identify additional ways to support even more burgeoning local female-owned businesses within the framework of the Holiday Gift Market.

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Meet our Past Winners

Plante La Vie Nursery

Ocean-inspired resin artwork

2020 - Sustainable Market Place

Ethical accessories and jewelry from around the world

Custom gift boxes for every occasion

Pawz Publishing 2018 YEP Winner, The Junior League of Tampa Holiday Gift Market

Children’s book publisher and toymaker

Ethos Coffee Roasters

Lakeland based coffee roaster

2016 - Old City Calligraphy

Custom hand-letting and design

2015 - Southern Doe

Clothing brand for women who love the outdoors

All-natural Paleo snacks