The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) is continuing our work to help at-risk youth stay in school and pursue a brighter future. With your support through the GlobalGiving platform, NFTE’s program continues to expand each year. Our mission is to teach students an entrepreneurial mindset, which will provide them with the tools and attitudes to overcome adversity and address future personal, economic, community and global challenges. Your donations through GlobalGiving went to our classroom programs across the country, helping students access our materials so they could dare to dream. As the new school year began NFTE closed out the 2014 – 2015 academic calendar by bringing the winners of our Regional Business Plan Competitions to New York City on October 6th for the 2015 National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge.Each of the participants came ready to pitch their entrepreneurial ventures, having honed their business plans through NFTE mentoring sessions and earlier competitions and in NFTE BizCamps. 36 student businesses, represented by 49 students, gave their presentations to panels of local judges at the Challenge, in the hopes of winning additional start-up capital for their business. The exciting, day long event saw the judges impressed by even those students who did not move on from the early morning round. These students had been developing not just their unique business ideas, but also the marketing, financial, and operating processes during their time studying NFTE’s curriculum. After two competitive morning rounds three businesses advanced to the finals: Crystal S. of NFTE Los Angeles with Guardian Locket, the hometown New York City team of Urbana A. and Jannatul R. for URBANAlifa Hijabs, and Kenneth H., also from Los Angeles, for his business A Touch of Eco.The three finalists represented a broad range of businesses, but each also chose to focus their endeavors behind a social cause as well. Crystal, a freshman in college, had designed Guardian Locket as a necklace and locket which can alert police and close contacts in the event of a sexual assault. She aims to combat the spike in gender violence on college campuses with her personal security product. The service business Kenneth founded can trace its origins to California’s ongoing drought. He provides environmentally friendly and low-water usage car washes to his customers with A Touch of Eco. Urbana and Jannatul designed fashionable and customizable hijabs for women who want to look stylish, while also maintain their religious modesty. It is a problem they see in New York City which they knew they could fix through their work in the NFTE course.After the final presentations, and some intense deliberation by the judges, Crystal took home first place and $25,000 to further their education or grow her business. Urbana and Jannatul, and Kenneth, both received $5,000 for making it to the finals. All told, NFTE awarded $35,000 in venture capital, scholarships, and other prizes at the Challenge, and the students got to promote their companies, hear feedback from successful business executives, and network with top entrepreneurs. This spring a new group of NFTE students will take their first steps towards the 2016 National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge when they compete in classroom competitions across the country. We’re looking forward to a great crop of new business next year!
NFTE Washington Metro just complete our summer BizCamps, including one which was funded through your donations on GlobalGiving! Your contributions helped us bring our unique entrepreneurial mindset to 29 young entrepreneurs who registered for our two-week, full-day, intensive ‘mini-MBA’ program. Today’s youth need a mindset that equips them to recognize opportunity, take initiative, and innovate in the face of challenges. Our summer BizCamp serves as an entrepreneurship crash course, as students use their lessons imparted in the class to create their own business plan. Under the guidance of a certified NFTE teacher, these students broaden their horizons and strengthen their entrepreneurial ventures with the support of volunteers who lend their guidance with business development and financial advice. The camp was held at Howard University at the School of Engineering. Students got to take a trip to the offices of the local startup Snagajob, an employment search engine website. There they saw the hard work of establishing a new company firsthand while also getting the chance to meet with business mentors. These volunteers helped strengthen the students’ new entrepreneurial ventures with personal knowledge and expertise. At the end of the program the lessons from the class and the business mentors fueled each participants’ business plan presentation. The winner of the pitch competition, receiving $1,500 in startup capital to help get her business off the ground, was Talia M. She developed Ambers, a wearable GPS device for children concealed discretely inside an earring. Your donations through the GlobalGiving platform went towards the costs associated with the field trips and the classroom materials for each student. Thank you again for your contributions to NFTE through the GlobalGiving platform! Along with our partners MasterCard and Coca-Cola, your contributions are helping students like Talia fully realize the potential of their entrepreneurial mindset. 29 new entrepreneurs in the nation’s capital are now ready to approach the world with their entrepreneurial mindset thanks to you.