NFTE empowers young people to own their futures, promoting more equitable access to economic opportunity through effective entrepreneurship education.
NFTE partners with schools, community groups, and youth development organizations to bring entrepreneurship education to under-represented learners. Our evidence-based model leverages an award-winning curriculum, highly trained teachers, and volunteers drawn from across business and industry.
Through the process of creating their own business idea, NFTE students build the skills needed to plan and launch a startup. They also learn about the full range of jobs and occupations available to them and are introduced to new career paths.
Most importantly, students develop the entrepreneurial mindset. They learn to think and act like entrepreneurs, demonstrating skills such as initiative and self-reliance, flexibility and adaptability, critical thinking and problem solving, communication and collaboration, creativity and innovation, opportunity recognition, and future orientation. This skillset can lead to success in any career.
Every year thousands of NFTE learners launch successful small businesses. Many program alumni continue to run their NFTE businesses long after they graduate or go on to found new companies that create jobs and drive economic growth. Entrepreneurship education not only changes the lives of NFTE learners, it kickstarts inclusive growth and changes communities.
The Entrepreneurial Mindset
At its core, the entrepreneurial mindset is a set of characteristics, behavior, and skills that drive action—including having a future orientation and being able to recognize opportunity, think critically and creatively, problem solve, adapt and flex, communicate and collaborate, and take calculated risks. All NFTE programs are designed to activate the entrepreneurial mindset and help learners deepen their skills.
Highly Trained Teachers
Developing the next generation of entrepreneurs begins with educators. NFTE’s Teacher Corps is a vibrant, collaborative community of practice where educators share best practices and learn from each other through professional learning communities. NFTE also offers intensive training and robust support through its staff and volunteers, as well as unique opportunities for professional development, leadership and recognition.
Experiential, Project-Based Learning
NFTE programs are designed to ignite the imagination, develop business skills, and grow the entrepreneurial mindset. The project of creating your own business makes learning relevant and compelling.
Flexible, Blended Learning
NFTE’s digitally-enabled curriculum is flexible enough to implement effectively in a wide variety of scenarios, from traditional classroom or camp environments with few technology resources to robust distance learning scenarios. We offer short intensives, semester and full-year courses as well as modular learning experiences that can be infused into an existing course framework.
Unique Learning Cycle
NFTE’s unique learning cycle offers a particularly effective sequence of experiential exercises, skills instruction, and student projects as well as built-in opportunities for reflection that contributes to mindset growth.
Lean Startup Tools & Methods
NFTE programs integrate lean startup tools and methodologies, offering students opportunities to develop a habit of testing and learning. NFTE entrepreneurs learn how to iterate quickly to refine business concepts.
Inspiring Competitions & Challenges
Competitive events are a cornerstone of the NFTE experience. Every year, students have new opportunities to compete for cash prizes — in design thinking challenges, innovation challenges, and NFTE business plan and pitch competitions at the local, regional and national level. These competitions motivate NFTE learners to refine their business idea and hone their presentation skills in order to win seed capital that they can use to grow a business or pursue post-secondary educational goals.
One of the most impactful aspects of the NFTE experience is student interaction with members of our Volunteer Corps, which includes business professionals, community leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, and celebrities. Volunteers host field trips, visit classrooms as guest speakers, serve as business coaches and advisors, and judge competitions. Volunteers find it rewarding to work with NFTE students, and engagement with volunteers enhances student learning.
U.S. Student Demographics
As the business community recognizes the need for greater inclusivity, NFTE is laying the groundwork for a new generation of diverse entrepreneurs.