NFTE – Targeting Entrepreneurs of the Future
Oct 22, 2010
Part of a series of profiles on Global Entrepreneurship Week's Global and National Partners
Every nine seconds someone in the U.S. drops out of high school. The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (www.nfte.com) is trying to change that statistic.
“(Entrepreneurship) is an engagement program,” said Julie Kantor, vice president of NFTE. “And 81 percent of kids that dropped out said they probably would not have if school were more relevant in real life.”
NFTE has a number of programs to help achieve this goal, targeting young people from low-income communities and helping them build skills to unlock their entrepreneurial creativity. Since its founding in 1987, NFTE has reached more than 280,000 young people, and currently has programs in 21 states and 12 countries.
The idea is to apply traditional educational skills in innovative ways that can directly impact a student’s life.
“They can learn reading, writing, math and public speaking, but around something that is theirs,” Kantor said. “They’re learning the skills, but around something real.”
And no “idea” is considered unattainable.
“The businesses that young people start are often based around their own passions and hobbies, so we’re saying, ‘You’re a really good rap artist, and you’re really good at drawing, and we’re taking you seriously. Is there a business that could come out of this?’” Kantor said.
During Global Entrepreneurship Week this message was spread throughout NFTE’s global network, who hosted hundreds of inspiring activities, including events in 63 different schools in the Los Angeles school district alone.
This year, NFTE is planning even more events during Global Entrepreneurship Week, in places around the globe.