Business Plan Competitions


Through a partnership with community sponsors such as Mark Motley, Motley Rice LLC, and Bank of America, YEScarolina hosts in-school competitions and a state business plan competitions. Students have the opportunity to participate in a series of business plan competitions as a part of their entrepreneurship class curriculum. Students will build their business plan over the course of their class. Once completed, they will present their ideas to local businessmen and women serving as judges. The top students are eligible to win seed money ranging from $100 to $3,000 throughout the course of the competitions to help fund the creation of their businesses.

2020 Dates and Information


First Place Winner – $3,000: Tyra Jefferson of Irmo High School

  • Tyra’s Big Flavor

Second Place Winner – $2,000: Trey Evans of Ashley Ridge High School

  • E&B Custom Music Mouthpieces

Third Place Winner – $1,000: Tayler Mccray of Burke High School

  • Tayler Made It


2019 State Business Plan Competition Recap

YEScarolina’s 8th Annual State Business Plan Competition was held at the College of Charleston School of Business on Friday, May 3rd. Forty-two high school students from across the state competed to win seed money for their businesses and a trip to New York City during this Shark Tank-style entrepreneurship competition.

The business plan competition, presented by the Mark E. Motley Foundation, began at 9am and was attended by students representing high school entrepreneurship classes from across the state. Through three rounds of competition, each student had an opportunity to present their business plan for a chance to win seed money to launch their venture, as well as an all-expense paid trip to New York City.

The morning began with a welcome speech from College of Charleston School of Business Dean Alan Shao before students prepared for their first round of presentations. In between rounds of competition, presenters had an opportunity to speak to attendees and fellow entrepreneurs about their businesses at the Student Expo in the Atrium. Teachers were also recognized individually after the first round. While judges deliberated to narrow the forty-two competitors down to fourteen, students gathered in the Wells Fargo Auditorium for a keynote speech given by Charleston entrepreneur and Callie’s Biscuits founder, Carrie Morrey.

At 3:30pm, five finalists were announced: Thomas Shelman of Abbeville High School, Trey Evans of Ashley Ridge High School in Summerville, SC, Tayler Mccray of Burke High School in Downtown Charleston, SC, Tyra Jefferson and Chisom Emetu, both of the Heyward Career Center in Columbia, SC. They presented on stage in the Wells Fargo auditorium, in front of an esteemed panel of judges made up of Charleston business leaders that included owner of Butcher & Bee and The Daily and YEScarolina board member Melody Shemtov, Cofounder of Find My Path and YEScarolina board member Trey Tezza, Executive Vice President, Human Resources at Blackbaud and YEScarolina board member John Mistretta, President of the Deloache Family Foundation and YEScarolina board member Brittany Westbrook, and Business Coach and Executive Pastor Charlenia Snider.