CHICAGO (July. 27, 2020) - The Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA), Chicagoland's new-car dealer association, donated $1,500 to the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. The donation came in conjunction with Hyundai of Palatine and the Chicagoland Dealers Care program, an initiative that matches CATA dealer member donations of up to $1,500 for local charitable organizations.
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy was formed five years ago by the Palatine Area Chamber of Commerce to help coach middle and high school aged children on how to build and run their own businesses. In September of each year, students have the opportunity to apply to a 25-week program that accepts only 30 students. Each student is paired with a personal mentor who works with them every step of the way through the final phase of forming a business plan.
"When Hyundai of Palatine first submitted the Young Entrepreneurs Academy's Chicagoland Dealers Care application to the CATA, we took one look at it and said 'This is right within our wheelhouse,'" commented CATA Chairman Kevin Keefe. "The concept is wonderful, arming these young students with the education and resources for them to build and run their own businesses."
Similar to ABC's hit show "Shark Tank," these students have the chance to pitch their business ideas to local business leaders and investors. One student qualifies each year to present at a national level in Rochester, New York, in front of a panel of judges at the end of the program. All students are pledged some funding to launch their business, and some have even reaped the benefits of receiving offers from local investors.
"To think that these young students are receiving legitimate offers from major investors is incredible," said Steven Gaus, Palatine Area Chamber of Commerce executive director. "We are so thankful for local businesses like Hyundai of Palatine and organizations such as the CATA who help fund our programming so these students can achieve these extraordinary goals."
"As a business owner myself, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to help these young students who have similar passions," said Hyundai of Palatine/Leader Auto Group President Tamara Darvish. "The Young Entrepreneurs Academy does tremendous work within the Palatine community, and we're committed to continuing to support their efforts."
The CATA has been a longtime supporter of local nonprofit organizations like the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Since its inception in 2008, the Chicagoland Dealers Care program has donated more than $100,000 to local charitable organizations supported by new-car dealers. Additionally, since 1992, the association has raised more than $56 million for significant Chicago-area charities during the annual First Look for Charity black-tie event, held the evening before the Chicago Auto Show opens to the public.