Chamber Insider Blog

Meet Isabel Craun, Alumni, Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!)s

To learn more about the Young Entrepreneur Academy (YEA!), please click here.
Staff contact: KC Repage, krepage@loudounchamber.org

As a kid, I did not have the word “entrepreneur” in my vocabulary. I would come up with different business ideas and write them in my business idea book, which I still have today. Of course when I grew older, I learned what being an entrepreneur meant. I new the definition and we studied it in school, but I don’t think anyone can truly understand what the word entrepreneur means, unless they are an entrepreneur themselves.

Young EntrepreneurHi, My name is Isabel and I am an entrepreneur. I am a 17 year old junior at Loudoun County High School. My favorite hobbies are painting, photography and reading. My interests in starting my own business inspired me to become apart of the Young Entrepreneur Academy (YEA!) Class of 2017.

YEA has taught me so many things that I would not have been able to learn in school. In school we learn about what an  entrepreneur is but in YEA you actually become one! YEA has not only taught me that being self motivated is crucial to being successful, but it also taught me how to communicate with confidence. Communicating with other adults and being confident in my abilities help me gain more experience about the adult world.

Young EntrepreneurBeing apart of YEA has created many opportunities for me, one being that I had the chance to Intern at the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce this past summer. My position mainly focused on helping with planning for the YEA Class of 2018. It was very interesting learning about everything that has to be done for the program. There is so much planning that goes into the classes that you don’t even see as a student.

My favorite part of my internship was helping with interviews. When a student applies for the YEA program they not only have to submit an application but they also have to be interviewed. It was so much fun getting to meet all the applicants and the future of YEA.

Through YEA I was able to learn the skills I needed in order to make my business, EpiFriend, successful. EpiFriend is a stylish wallet that can be held as a clutch or inside a purse. Not only does it hold credit cards and cash, but it also holds an Epi-pen for those who have allergies. In an emergency regarding allergies, most people seem to leave their Epi-pen behind, and when they need it, it is hard to react quickly and efficiently to the needs of the person in danger. EpiFriend holds the Epi-pen while maintaining a proper temperature, and holds instructions and information about the Epi-pen. I came up with the idea of EpiFriend because of my personal struggle with severe allergies and carrying my Epi-pen around. I love fashion and hated having to bring the Epi-pen along with me to restaurants even when I didn’t have something to hold it in. This problem happens to many other people with Epi-pens and it ends up sitting at home or at the bottom of someone’s purse.

During the investor panel, I won 2nd place ($1,000) which has helped me greatly during the process of starting my business. I am working closely with the Small Business Development Center which has helped me make a strategy for selling my product and getting my business off the ground.

This past school year, I learned so much and gained loads of experience. I have grown as a person, and now I have new level of understanding about YEA is run. This opportunity has helped me prepare for life after High School.  This was my first official job and I am so grateful that it was, I learned so much and couldn’t have asked for anything more! Thank you to the chamber staff for having me this summer!

To learn more about the Young Entrepreneur Academy (YEA!), please click here.
Staff contact: KC Repage, krepage@loudounchamber.org

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