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NextGen CEO

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NextGen CEO, is a six-week digital business education course that teaches kids the basics of starting their own business. The NextGen CEO curriculum is centered around opening up a business selling strawberry-themed desserts. However, we encourage all of our students to be creative, and they are welcome to start any business of their choosing. At the end of the program, NextGen CEO students will get to open their own dessert stands (or another concept that they created) at the Santa Maria Town Center Mall.

The program is produced to communicate at a sixth-grade learning level and covers six main categories:

  • Business Fundamentals (Forming a business plan, setting up a bank account, etc.)
  • Cost Models
  • Food Safety & Food Prep
  • Marketing & Customer Service
  • Money Management
  • Future Planning

The Chamber is excited to partner with the Boys & Girls Club of the Mid Central Coast for our Summer 2024 Session of NextGen CEO!

Registration for this session has now closed. The next cohort of NextGen CEO will be in the Fall of 2024. Stay tuned for additional registration details, or email to learn more.

Program FAQ's

We want your student to participate. Our material is aimed at children in upper elementary grades. You know your student and their capacity. Younger students may need a bit more help from you. Older students will see this as an introduction to concepts they can develop more deeply.

NextGen CEO Alumni Network

Are you a NextGen CEO alumni who is continuing your business after the NextGen CEO program? Be sure to join our NextGen CEO Alumni Network! This network provides resources on how to successfully continue your business endeavors after the NextGen CEO program, and local opportunities to sell your product to the public!

To learn more and join our network, contact Yuliana Nelson at

Looking for help with your business and not sure where to start? Visit our page on Doing Business in the Santa Maria Valley for resources or to request additional assistance with your business.

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Sponsorship Opportunities Available!

Help build the next generation of local entrepreneurs - invest in the NextGen CEO program! Sponsorship opportunities are detailed below. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, contact Strategic Initiatives Manager Yuliana Nelson at

NextGen CEO Program Sponsors

NextGen CEO is made possible thanks to the generous support of our Chamber Investor Program, and our NextGen CEO program sponsors, who have provided additional financial support so we can make this program available to our local future business leaders at a reduced cost.

Junior CEO Investor Fund Sponsors

Thank you to our Junior CEO Investor Fund Sponsors for supporting our next generation of local entrepreneurs.

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