New York, NY – June 4, 2010– Southwest Airlines  and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) have teamed up to help America’s at-risk youth on their journey to become successful young entrepreneurs. As part of the Southwest Community Affairs & Grassroots outreach initiative, the leading airline has pledged airfare for students enrolled in NFTE’s entrepreneurship programs.
As part of the partnership, Southwest Airlines  will support NFTE’s Advanced Entrepreneurship Seminar (AES), National Business Plan Competition and Annual Awards Gala. The AES is NFTE's week-long intensive summer program for students ages 18 and older who are interested in launching their businesses or taking their existing businesses to the next level. Southwest Employees will be encouraged to Share the Spirit by participating as judges in the regional NFTE competitions throughout the country, where local students present business plans and compete against peers for seed capital. Regional winners will then have the unique opportunity to receive feedback on their plans from Southwest Executives as they prepare for NFTE’s 2011 National Business Plan Competition and Awards Gala in New York City, in October 2011.
“We relish in the opportunity to support students who take their education to new heights. NFTE teaches students how to soar in entrepreneurship, which is an invaluable community partnership for Southwest Airlines. Who knows? One day, Southwest may be investing their products.” said Karen Price-Ward, Community Affairs & Grassroots Manager.
“We’re thrilled to announce Southwest Airlines as the official airline and a proud partner of NFTE,” Steve Mariotti, founder of NFTE. “This partnership will help bring at-risk students closer to realizing their dreams by expanding their horizons and enabling them to participate in entrepreneurial events and competitions outside of their regions. For many, Southwest will be helping many students take their first ‘business trip’ to present their winning business plans on a national level in New York City.”
NFTE is a global 501(c) 3 non-profit and a pioneer in providing entrepreneurship education programs to young people from low-income communities. Over the past two decades, more than 280,000 NFTE graduates have been taught the fundamentals of becoming financially independent by running their own businesses. To learn more, visit NFTE.com .
About Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship
The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) provides entrepreneurship education programs to young people from low-income communities. Our vision is that every young person will find a pathway to prosperity. Since 1987, NFTE has worked with more than 280,000 young people. NFTE currently operates programs in 21 states and 10 other countries, and has more than 1,500 active teachers. For more information, visit www.nfte.com .
About Southwest Airlines
After nearly 39 years of service, Southwest Airlines  continues to differentiate itself from other low fare carriers—offering