On Thursday, October 3, NFTE’s top 38 young entrepreneurs competed in at the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (#NYEC) for a chance at $25,000 in cash and prizes. The finalists, who are all business plan competition winners from their respective regions, were required to develop and present original business plans as part of their entrepreneurial studies at school, based on NFTE's experiential curriculum.
Just this week the venerable publication The Economist shined a spotlight on the reality of the youth unemployment crisis. There are now estimated to be 290 million young people – 25% of all youth worldwide – who are not employed, pursing education or in a vocational training program. NFTE and entrepreneurship education are more vital than ever.
Michael Chow and David Bettner, then of Zynga with Friends, headlined a panel discussion on entrepreneurship at NFTE Bay Area’s Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. Michael and David are best known for inventing and releasing Words with Friends, which topped 60 million downloads.
One of the most interesting parts of my NFTE experience so far has been being able to host a variety of volunteers from both the corporate and the entrepreneurial world at my classroom sites. These volunteers come in for a variety of purpose. Some act as motivational speakers, sharing their own stories of trial and triumph, some act as coaches, helping students work on projects and business plans. Students, reticent though many may be to partake in class on an average day, generally perk up when volunteers come in. Suddenly, entrepreneurs become real people and having a career in business seems achievable.
Today at 9:00 AM ET (Tuesday, November 27th) the Microsoft Giving Tuesday begins! This is your last chance to Double Your Impact and your gift to NFTE through the generosity of the people at Microsoft. Matches will be made up to $1,000 per donor, per project on the Give For Youth website, and funding is limited.
Carlos and I underwent training at NFTE U-- a warp speed experience that compressed what children in program classrooms across the country will learn through NFTE into a four day seminar for adults. Teachers and program managers in attendance were asked to create business plans based on NFTE’s new business plan template for students.