Ryan Poortinga/San Diego Sky Tours

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Ryan Poortinga/San Diego Sky Tours

Category : Success Stories

Ryan was a recent graduate from San Diego State University who was having a hard time finding a job in his field. One day while browsing the Craigslist website for jobs, he came across an advertisement for our YEP program and decided to enroll and take the business training. After completing the training, he wrote a business plan for an aerial tours business that he and his best friend, a licensed pilot, had come up with and entered it into the YEP business plan competition. The business plan was well developed and Ryan was selected as one of the winners of the YEP business plan competition. After the competition, Ryan met with professional business advisors at the CITD and received help with further developing his business idea. After a few business counseling sessions, Ryan launched his business, San Diego Sky Tours, and is currently doing well enough to hire his company’s first employee.

When asked how YEP played a part in helping him launch his business, Ryan said “The online business training helped me bridge the gap between the business management concepts and theory I learned at SDSU, and how small businesses actually get started.”

In November 2011, Ryan was visited at his business by Deputy Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration, Marie Johns, during a tour promoting youth entrepreneurship. That visit and subsequent national press release by the SBA led to an article in the Washington Post.