Baltimore students presenting their business
This summer the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) has unveiled several new programs in our ongoing quest to bring entrepreneurship education to as many youth as possible. NFTE has partnered with the Citi Foundation as a part of their Pathways to Progress campaign to launch Make Your Job, a national program to help empower low-income youth to develop the business skills and entrepreneurial mindset needed to compete in the modern workforce. As a part of the Make Your Job initiative, NFTE hosted 18 BizCamps, a two week, intensive entrepreneurship program for students across the country. Each student in the BizCamps created their own original business idea and developed a plan for how to start, market, and grow their business. Our extraordinary partners with the Citi Foundation, along with your donations through GlobalGiving, have helped make these camps come to life for the 400 students who took part.
The BizCamps also included a business plan competition, where the students would pitch the ideas they worked on during the course to a panel of judges. The winning plans at each camp received seed capital to take their business outside of the classroom. Each of the winners also gained entry into the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (NYEC) this fall. At the NYEC each of the BizCamp teams will compete with other students from the 11 NFTE Program Offices and 6 Partner Programs for the grand prize of $25,000 in start-up capital and prizes for their business. Each of the teams is spending this summer refining their plan, practicing their pitch, and of course, starting their business. The 2014 NYEC will take place on October 9th at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California (this represents the first time the Challenge is in the Bay Area).
One of the young entrepreneurs who won his BizCamp was Miles J., who won Citi’s Los Angeles BizCamp Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. Truly taking the name “Make Your Job” to the next level, Miles created Next Generation Financials during his two-week program. His mobile app aims to help low-income families that often can’t afford private financial advisors. Next Generation Financials allows for basic financial planning, budgeting, and business news all through a smartphone. Before entering NFTE’s BizCamps, Miles wasn’t sure what to expect from the course but was excited to be studying any topics relating to business. Although he traveled more than an hour each way to attend class, the coursework inspired him. His love of math and business financials led him to create something he is excited about. In the future Miles plans to attend college, and one day be the CEO of his own company.
Another student-run business with the hopes of winning the NYEC is ULO, or Unique Locker Organizers. Developed by Anyira B. and Britney R. of New York’s Westchester suburbs, they drew from their personal experience in school to create their business. They reasoned that the more organized one’s locker is, the more organized one can be for class. ULO is a device that allows students to easily keep track of all the textbooks, notebooks, and classroom supplies necessary for high school. Anyira and Britney are even starting a social outreach program, as they plan to donate two purple Unique Locker Organizers during Bullying Prevention Month in October. Both girls plan to attend college in the future, and cite the NFTE BizCamp as a key experience to have in advance of business school.
Other teams that will represent NFTE BizCamps in the National Finals include The Abyss, an online artistic community founded by Jenna A. and Meyahueltzin A. of Chicago, Distinguished Designs, a company from Ronnell F. of Mount Vernon, New York, which makes customized, fashionable, lapel pins, and the student bike sharing program Acellabike, run by Baltimore students Maya C., and siblings Chris and Kayla S. These teams, and the others from NFTE’s Program Offices and regional partners, will have their presentations ready in the Bay Area on October 9th for the final rounds of the competition. The final three will present their business plans to a distinguished panel of judges, who will have the privilege of crowning the winner.
Citi volunteers and business mentors with students
Los Angeles BizCamp winners