Youth Web Design

Seattle small businesses and creative entrepreneurs can apply for the Youth Web Design program to create a FREE business website! Applications are due on September 30, 2022.

APPLY HERE

Seattle Office of Economic Development is partnering with the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle to expand the Youth Web Design program. Through this program, Seattle small businesses and creative entrepreneurs without a business website or limited online presence are connected with local high school students to design websites that improve and expand their online presence and business operations.

The program covers all website expenses for the first year, and business owners are taught technical skills needed to maintain and update their websites. In addition, businesses will have a photoshoot with a professional photographer to showcase their products or services on their new website.

The program also serves Seattle youth — teaching industry standard skills, including coding in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Participating youth will earn technical certification for the coding skills they learn, receive paid stipends and will soon earn Career and Technical Education credits through Seattle Public Schools.

Small businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Be located in Seattle, WA.
  • Have a City of Seattle Business License.
  • Business and Occupation (B&O) taxes must be paid in full.
  • Cannot be a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.
  • Do not currently have a business website or website is outdated and business is unable to perform necessary updates.

Creative entrepreneurs must meet the following criteria:

  • Be based in Seattle, WA.
  • Are launching or want to launch a creative profession to help with procuring more work.
  • Ideally have visual and/or audio content of work to showcase.
  • Do not currently have a business website or website is outdated and entrepreneur is unable to perform necessary updates.

For students:

  • The fall cohort plans to serve up to 30 additional small businesses and support up to 30 additional youth from Oct. 3, 2022-Nov. 18, 2022.

  • Selected business owners and/or business representatives must also participate in mandatory meetings to coordinate with selected youth designing their business’ website.

The Youth Web Design program pilot was launched in 2020 to respond to two emerging needs.

First, because of COVID-19 and immediate public health protocols that required social distancing and stay-at-home orders, businesses pivoted their operations and relied on online tools including websites and social media to remain open and connect with customers. Businesses that were without websites and digital tools prior to the pandemic were further impacted economically and faced higher barriers to getting online.

Secondly, paid employment and internship opportunities for youth were instantly reduced or eliminated, creating an economic crisis for young people who relied on these opportunities to generate income.

In response to these economic and social challenges, OED and ULMS developed this pilot program to educate, train and employ young people; and to support small businesses’ ability to stay open, operate in our virtual environment and develop sustainable digital tools for immediate and long-term stability, particularly for Black- and immigrant-owned businesses. To date, the program connected over 30 businesses with websites and digital tools for long-term stability and trained more than 35 youth in creating websites.

For questions about this program and corporate partnership opportunities, please contact OED’s Small Business Advocate, Eduardo Rojas, at eduardo.rojas@seattle.gov.

For questions about student participation, requirements, participating as a mentor and additional program benefits for student families, please contact ULMS’ Director of Education, Robert Jones, at rjones@urbanleague.org.

The Seattle Office of Economic Development is committed to building an equitable and inclusive economy that benefits the whole city by promoting access to economic opportunities for all of Seattle’s diverse communities.

The City of Seattle encourages everyone to participate in its programs and activities. For additional questions, translation or interpretation, technical assistance, disability accommodations, materials in alternate formats or accessibility information, please contact the Office of Economic Development at (206) 684-8090 or oed@seattle.gov.