Lily D. wins the 2014 NYEC!
It is an exciting time for NFTE Baltimore. After closing the 2013-2014 school year, in which we served 850 local students with our youth entrepreneurship training, NFTE Baltimore looked west. The two winners of our Citywide Business Plan Competition were eligible to compete in the 2014 National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (NYEC), held on October 9th in Mountain View, California. The NFTE Baltimore champions were alumnae of the program, which was funded in part by your donations through the GlobalGiving platform. Your contributions helped purchase business curriculum, provide for field trips, and gave students access to digital resources as well. We cannot thank you enough for your support, which came in useful when NFTE Baltimore’s representatives at the NYEC competed against the 39 student businesses from across the country.
All 41 entrants in the NYEC had their sights set on the grand prize of $25,000 in cash and business services. One student was determined to not let anything stand in her way: Lily D. of Baltimore. One of the competition’s youngest entrepreneurs at 13, Lily started Lily’s Legwarmers, hand-knitting wool legwarmers to be worn by dancers during practice. She found the need when her sister came to her after a ballet rehearsal and said she needed something to cover her lower legs. Lily was able to make her garments out of a breathable material, which decreased leg injuries amongst the dancers wearing them as well. With an upbeat attitude and a killer presentation, Lily breezed into the semifinals.
Presenting her plan again in the afternoon, Lily continued her progression into the final round with two other student businesses. Lily’s plan was clearly one of the best; she used the knowledge gained in NFTE Baltimore’s program to fully flesh out the financials and distribution channels for her business. Coming into the competition she was already endorsed by two professional dancers and had a fully functioning Etsy page. Presenting second in the finals, Lily’s energy resulted in a standing ovation from the student entrepreneurs who had been eliminated in the quarter and semifinal rounds. Riding on a high from such a great level of crowd support, Lily fielded another round of questions from the final round judges before they entered their deliberations.
When the judges reached their final decision, Lily got yet another standing ovation as she was awarded 1st place and the grand prize of $25,000 in cash and prizes. Her success would not have been possible without her time in the NFTE Baltimore program, which was funded in part by your donations. Your contributions through GlobalGiving are transforming lives in our city, not just Lily’s but the hundreds of other students who learned to think with an entrepreneurial mindset, that unique set of attitudes, skills, and behaviors that entrepreneurs demonstrate every day, thanks to NFTE’s program. Thanks again!
the 2014 NYEC finalists and final round judges
Lily D. presenting in the final round