NFTE is proud to honor the Global Young Entrepreneurs of 2014
The Global Young Entrepreneur Awards are an opportunity for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship to identify and recognize young people from across the globe who demonstrate excellence in learning and dedication to their entrepreneurial pursuits. Each year, NFTE honors one young entrepreneur from each of our program offices at our annual Global Gala.

NFTE México - Fundación E
NFTE Class of 2013
When Dante Alejandre was a young boy, his mother worked very long days, making it hard for them to spend time together. However, the days when he was able to accompany his mother to her workplace were like being at an amusement park – she worked at a musical agency and was surrounded by instruments and musicians. When she noticed how happy Dante was looking at all the musical instruments in her office, she let him know that he could borrow them if he asked, so he asked to borrow a guitar that had been down in the cellar. His mother’s co-worker showed him some chords, and ever since, Dante has wanted to learn everything he can about all instruments. After his parents divorced when he was ten, Dante went through a very hard time and took refuge in his guitar. He has since enrolled in a music school and has greatly improved his guitar playing. He has now, along with two business partners, created Mouzikelo Records to support young musicians that do not have broad economic resources, providing high quality services at a low cost. Mouzikelo Records is currently managing rock bands in different locations where they hope to grow.

“Being younger, we sometimes have the disadvantage that others do not believe in us, but the work we have done speaks for itself.”
Youth Entrepreneurs Kansas
NFTE Class of 2013
Hanna Boatman considers the most important need of her community to be fresh, locally grown produce that is grown naturally and sold at an affordable price. Her father had begun farming and she started spending time at local markets. Building on her experiences, she decided to create Gone Natural, which offers “beyond organic” produce at affordable prices. What sets Gone Natural apart from other organic produce companies, is that Hanna allows the customer to come to the actual farm and see the quality of produce she is selling. In the future, Hanna would like to see Gone Natural turn into a fullfledged CSA, selling during part-time hours at a local farmer’s market and selling full-time at the farm itself. After graduation, she plans to attend the University of Missouri and to keep working on her business!
“I decided not only to tell my customers about Gone Natural’s way of growing, but to prove it and invite them to see for themselves!”
NFTE Deutschland
NFTE Class of 2013
Growing up, Anton Boos worked on horse ranches during the summer months. Many of these ranches are owned and run by elderly people in the area. Anton decided to create an idea to minimize their work and make their work easier for them, especially while removing the horse dung which takes several hours a day. During his work on these ranches, Anton noticed that horses always defecated by habit in the same place where the subsoil was rather soft because these areas had a big bale of hay underneath them. Understanding this, Anton developed a panel covered in straw with a closed mesh plastic net underneath. While the horses eat, the old straw on the ground provides a feeling of softness and stimulates them to defecate. Then the panel can be attached to a tractor with chains, and the old hay and dung can be removed in one single ride. With the creation of this product, Anton can now save time, strenuous work and man power.
“Many horse ranches look for time-saving work methods. That’s why many owners like the idea of my panel; it’s practical and easy to clean.”
NFTE New York Metro
NFTE Class of 2013
All her young life, Sofia Contreras has had to work hard and think entrepreneurially. As a small child, she used to help her grandmother make and sell sweet apples, fried plantain chips and other homemade foods, earning some pocket money. Later, when her family immigrated to the United States, her mother got a job as the manager of a Salvadorian restaurant. Sofia began to help out in the restaurant and, as a result, her real love of business grew stronger and stronger. She learned the ins and outs of the restaurant industry from her mother – everything from negotiating deals to figuring out which supermarkets offered the best quality and most affordable products. As a result of these experiences, Sofia was inspired to start her own restaurant. By the middle of 2014, Sofia will have opened Las 5 Americas Restaurant, a Latin American and Salvadorian restaurant in Brooklyn.
“I always wanted to start a restaurant, but until I took the NFTE class I didn’t believe it was truly possible.”
Network for Teaching Young Entrepreneurs
NFTE Class of 2012 & 2013
In 2012, students from schools across North London took part in a five day summer business school where they were put into teams to work together. There, Adeola Dada, Kofi Duah, and Tyrell Wright met, forming a company called Antiks Ltd., and creating a business opportunity. The team was inspired by the frustration people feel when misplacing objects. Knowing that there are many key-finders in the market, the team wanted to take their idea one step further and develop a “chip” that could be placed on anything that needs to be located. Thus, The Bleep Finder was formed. The Bleep Finder comes with a remote, a docking station, and four micro sound emitting chips. Customers can place the chip on any objects from keys to glasses to wallets, and when a button is pushed on the remote, the chip bleeps. While all three boys are now at college, they continue to keep in touch and work on the business opportunity.
“Our product helps to take away anxiety and frustration and helps to provide assurance that customers can locate their items with ease.”
NFTE Belgium
NFTE Class of 2013
Sandrine Demol believes that beauty can be a tool toward building self-esteem. She says “there is a great need for self-confidence in women, especially young women.” Building on that belief, she found inspiration for her NFTE business, and has long-term plans to design and sell beautiful top-quality lingerie, accessories and scent. A unique element of her business design is a special plan to make purchasing lingerie and women’s accessories more comfortable for men. This plan begins with a staff of male sales associates who will be available to give advice to men looking to purchase gifts for the women in their life, and will extend to quarterly, invitation-only, events for her top clients. Sandrine has gained valuable marketing and production knowledge from the lessons learned and research initiated as part of her NFTE class. “The NFTE experience brings me more confidence, practical aspects and knowhow,” she says, and plans to open her store after completing her university studies in a few years.
“Even if I am never to become a business owner, the NFTE course will be useful for my personal and professional development in many ways.”

NFTE South Florida
NFTE Class of 2009
A mentor once told Lang Dobson, “You must figure out what in life you love so much that you’d be willing to do it for free, then figure out how to get paid for it. That is the meaning of a meaningful life.” Thanks to his passion for the arts, Lang realized that there was an opportunity to start a business designing clothes for the urban movement. NFTE showed Lang that, with the right networking and the proper drive, even the youngest people can become successful entrepreneurs. From that realization, The Newsies Clothing Co. was created. Through launching the business Lang has learned to think outside of the box, for example, collaborating with local artists to be able to reach more people rather than using typical advertising tactics. Lang is currently studying at the Miami Ad School and working a full time job while he runs his company.
“NFTE showed me that with the right networking and the proper drive, even the youngest people can become successful entrepreneurs. I am inspired to use my art to rise above the status quo.”
Entrepreneuring Youth
NFTE Class of 2010

While in her entrepreneurship class in Pittsburgh during the summer of 2009, Taja Finley would ask to use her teacher’s camera during field trips to take pictures of students interacting with different business owners. After realizing how much she liked to take pictures, she chose to take her photography skills and transform them into a business. Taja’s business has changed a lot since she first imagined it. She began with taking photos of historical buildings but then decided she wanted to do portraits of her customers to be put into keychains and frames. She is now combining the two ideas. Taja plans to attend Penn State University (Beaver) and major in Communications and Journalism. She also plans to incorporate her photography into her writing.
“I wouldn’t trade the challenges I faced for anything in the world because they helped me grow as an individual, and as a business owner.”
NFTE Baltimore
NFTE Class of 2009
In October of 2011, Keenen Geter was in a car accident that changed the way he thinks about and views the world. After being rushed to the hospital, he realized that life is not a guarantee. Through his head ran the words of the late Dr. King, “What are you doing for others?” and that was the day he decided that he needed to do more for his community. In May 2012, Keenen took advantage of the business building skills he had learned in his high school NFTE class, and started Young Men With POWER, a program targeted towards young men in grades 6-9 who are willing to make changes to their behavior in order to make a difference in their lives. Young Men With POWER does this by building self-esteem, ethical values and cultural proficiency. Additionally, the program serves as a creative outlet for the participants, helping them learn to better express themselves and live up to their full potential.
“Compared to young females, young men are more likely to drop out of school, commit crimes, become incarcerated and find difficulty in finding a job. Having a program that targets young men can address some of the disadvantages and difficulties that young men are faced with.”
NFTE Greater Washington
NFTE Class of 2013

Dagim Girma believes that the most important need of the young sports fan community is entertaining, socially-trending content. With this thought in mind, Dagim has created, a sports website written for and by high school students. By having his writers research topics such as the wackiest characteristics of players or most shocking statistics, he is working to shed a unique light on sports writing. Dagim’s website offers students a place where they can write for fun, indirectly refining their literacy skills while enjoying their hobby. The Audible also serves as a social media tool, allowing users to engage with other sports fan their own age. The Audible currently has a staff of over 50 writers contributing to the page, and garners over 6000 unique visitors a month. Dagim plans to attend Babson College in the fall while continuing to run The Audible, and looks forward to venturing into other business ideas as well.
“Participating in the NFTE class has allowed me to do things and meet people that I would never have dreamed of. It has helped me realize that dreams can come true, at any age.”
I Create, Inc.
NFTE Class of 2013
Sakshi Goswami comes from a small village in India where women are mostly uneducated and poor, and it is uncommon for them to work outside the home. Sakshi chose Navrachna Handicrafts for her business plan because she wanted the village women to be able to get employment and raise their standard of living. The inspiration for the business came from her grandmother, who used to make fans, dolls, beaded necklaces and bracelets for her as a child. This business will revive her grandmother’s old art form, as well as providing much needed employment and a source for affordable jewelry to the women of her community. In the future, Sakshi hopes to establish a prominent presence for her business in the village market, while also selling her products through independent shop keepers in the city.
“Once I expand the business, I will employ more girls and ladies, allowing them to work independently. This will help to make them feel empowered and build their self-respect, and enhance their way of living.”
NFTE Philadelphia
NFTE Class of 2013
Jade-Rose Green has always had an interest in entrepreneurship and, at just four years old, told her parents, “I don’t want to work for anyone; I want to be the boss.” As she grew up, Jade-Rose became interested in fashion and her mom helped her to create designs and buy fabric and a sewing machine to bring them to life. At age ten, she received a scholarship to attend fashion classes at the Moore College of Art and Design. In the fall of 2012, she designed and created her own sweatshirt and then posted it to Instagram. Within one night, Jade-Rose had eight orders for the sweatshirts. When she began taking NFTE, Jade-Rose immediately knew what her business was going to be. She calls her designs Walking Art because she hand-paints the designs, producing both a work of art and a piece of clothing. Jade-Rose plans to attend Moore College of Art and Design to continue her passion for the business of fashion.

“Initially, I could not believe that people actually wanted to purchase clothing I had designed and constructed, but I soon saw the possibility that lay ahead!”
NFTE New England
NFTE Class of 2005
When Angela Ivana Greene took the NFTE class in high school, she was able to develop her facility for working with numbers and realized she had an entrepreneurial spirit. Upon graduating from Northeastern University, she began a career in finance, working at a spa on the weekends. During the recession, she was laid off at her finance job, but continued working at the spa where her responsibilities included selling and applying makeup. When customers started noticing her natural abilities, the spa associates began requesting she teach them her techniques. She continued to practice and read books about makeup application, which led her to realize that it had much to do with art, lighting and photography, areas she was already interested in. Working with a mentor to learn how to negotiate deals and become successful in a very competitive industry, she decided to create her own company. Angela now runs Angela Ivana and Bridal By Ivana, offering makeup, hair and wig services for private and commercial clients including Givenchy, Reebok, MTV and more.
“I ensure that I give back to the community and teach others about what I do. By connecting and sharing my story, I’m able to motivate, guide, and encourage others to have a success story like mine.”

Foroige / NFTE Ireland
NFTE Class of 2014
Before Laura Greene found her talent for being an entrepreneur, she was going through very tough times at home and even spent a period of time in foster care. This had a poor effect on her schoolwork and attendance as she would often feel so depressed about the day ahead that she wasn’t able to get out of bed. One day when Laura did attend school, she told her NFTE teacher about her idea to turn her arts & crafts hobby into a business. Her teacher agreed that it was a great idea, so she went home that very day and bought drinking glasses, got out her aqua glass paints and started to create Laura’s Crystal Ware, a line of hand-painted and personalized drinking glasses. As she continued to work on the business, Laura’s mood began to brighten and she was returning to the person she was before she had problems at home. She now attends school every day, with improving grades, and has noticed a complete turn-around in her daily mood – all thanks to finding her entrepreneurial mindset.
“When my NFTE business started to bloom, my attendance, school work, and mood were higher than ever.”
NFTE Chicago
NFTE Class of 2012
As a Muslim woman, Deena Kishawi abides by a dress code that includes wearing the hijab, or headscarf, for modesty, but often finds it difficult to find stylish clothing that complies with the dress code in this country where most people are not Muslim. After learning how to sew in the sixth grade, Deena began to make the majority of her clothes, both to her personal preferences, but also in keeping with her modest religious dress code. In her NFTE class she realized that this skill could also be a business – and modestie’s first collection was born. With modestie officially launching soon, Deena hopes to combat the idea that to be beautiful, fashion must be revealing, and instead prove that true beauty comes from within. She also hopes to tackle the misconceptions about Muslim women that are portrayed in the media and work to empower women all around the world.
“I take [pessimistic comments] from others as fuel to work harder and push through to make sure that my business stands out among the larger companies in the fashion industry.”
Youth Opportunities Unlimited
NFTE Class of 2013

As a junior, Taylor Lovelace started at a new high school and faced the challenges of being the “new kid” and knowing very few people. He decided to enroll in the school’s entrepreneurship course, as he had always been inspired by his father’s entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to start his own company. Taylor noticed that the new high school’s hats were very boring and plain. He saw this as a great business opportunity to show his creativity and love for his school through a product that he loves to wear. Taylor says, “The reason why I went into the business of hats is because it’s an easy way to express who you are, what school you attend.” Taylor believes that the most important need in a community is to have positive non-gang affiliation. Peer pressure is an important force in his neighborhood, and he plans to be a role model by showing others how to apply their interests in a more positive and creative way.

“The main difference I plan to make is being a role model to others, showing how to use your interests in a positive and creative way.”
Bright China Foundation
NFTE Class of 2013
As a child, Ying Lu always loved the beautiful trees and flowers, but little did she know that one day she would be creating a business with them! One day, she attended a trade fair where she saw a man selling straw crafts made from her hometown’s plants. After speaking with the man, she realized that he was weaving traditional folk crafts which also gave new life to plants that would otherwise die. These crafts are an excellent example of China’s Northeast folkloric culture. As the Chinese people become more aware of the fragility of our environment, there is an increased interest in natural products like these woven crafts, particularly in the traditional style. Ying currently has two employees working with her to produce and sell her handicrafts, both at a local teahouse and at folk art fairs. She is very excited about her success as a businesswoman, and the new life she is building for herself.
“From a student to an entrepreneur is, for me, a magical change in psychology.”
NFTE Class of 2013
The four teenage creators of Gas Meter met at their boarding school in the town of Bnei Brak, Israel. Rayya, the CEO of the business, came up with the business idea one Friday night when she ran out of cooking gas while preparing dinner for her family of eight – and couldn’t get more for three days! In Israel, for those who live outside of the larger cities, there is often unreliable access to important services, such as getting the gas needed for daily cooking. The girls decided that if they could create a Gas Meter that would track consumption, people would know when they are running low and better prepare themselves to order on time. This Gas Meter can also help to detect a gas leak, contributing to the safety of these more remote towns and villages, and providing peace of mind for the families themselves. In January 2013, the team had the honor of presenting their idea to EY, followed by taking first place in Ashalim’s National Challenge in June 2013.

"Gas Meter will provide comfort to homeowners, both to know when to order more cooking gas, and to be aware of any safety issues that arise."
NFTE Bay Area
NFTE Class of 2012
Arvind Nandi is no stranger to entrepreneurship! He is currently building his third tech business, WalkIn, an app that provides restaurants with an easy-to-use interface that organizes customers by time of arrival and number of people. Restaurants can then easily send a simple text message from a laptop or mobile device to the customer notifying them when their table is ready. In the future, Arvind hopes to include a feature allowing restaurants to view demographic and other data about their customers. To give back to the community, WalkIn plans to work with restaurants to execute a yearly food drive for the poor and homeless people in the community. WalkIn also plans to donate a portion of yearly profits to charities and centers that support low income families.
“My NFTE mentor had a great impact on me, as he always gave me the hard truth … and pushed me to create a product that customers actually want.”
NFTE Fairchester
NFTE Class of 2013
To Annley (Annie) Nirschel, songwriting has always come as naturally as remembering to put the cap back on the toothpaste. While trying to come up with a business idea for her NFTE class senior year, Annie decided to solve a problem faced by small businesses around the world. She said, “Jingles are a fun and effective way to promote a product or service, but while jingles are great, they are reserved for larger companies, such as McDonalds or Toys “R” Us. I think Uncles’ General Store, an adorable deli down the street from me, would benefit significantly from their own personal jingle, as only a handful of people know it exists.” Because Annie does all the work herself- writing the lyrics and music, recording and producing on her laptop – she is able to deliver the jingles to a company at a fraction of the price charged by larger production companies. SuberbTune is a small business targeting fellow small businesses in an industry that is generally reserved for the big guys.
“It is vital to help modest and up-and-coming companies find footing in their industry, and I am creating memorable branding for these companies that will allow them to prosper.”
NFTE New England
NFTE Class of 2013
When Victoria was a small child living with severe autonomic dysfunction, her parents faced the challenge of trying to find a properly trained babysitter to care for her. The memory of that challenge, coupled with her desire to give a voice to kids, like she was, who feel alone because of their illness, Victoria knew exactly what type of business she wanted to create while taking NFTE. She imagined and created Skilled Sitters, a website designed to connect highly qualified caregivers to families with chronically sick children. Victoria is currently a senior in high school and is working to get Skilled Sitters operational in 2014. She has already raised $80,000 to go towards the business and is taking time off after graduation to launch the company. Victoria hopes to attend Suffolk University in Boston and major in Entrepreneurial Studies. She plans to have branches of Skilled Sitters throughout New England by January 2016, keeping the headquarters in Boston.
“Skilled Sitters not only gives parents peace of mind, it gives the child a companion and friend that can help them."
NFTE North Texas
NFTE Class of 2013
When Juan Ramos was a junior in high school, he decided to take AP U.S. History because he thought it would be beneficial to him in the future and, consequently, he became incredibly passionate about the subject. When it came time to come up with an idea for a business that would help solve a social issue, Juan partnered with a classmate who was also passionate about history and discussed the lack of motivation and life skills among fellow students. From this, JJ New World, a software development company, was born and with it, the first game: Better Than History. This game allows players to step into the shoes of historical figures to explore alternate endings to historical events. As a side-effect of the fun, Better Than History teaches its players decision-making, critical-thinking and life skills that are fundamental to succeed in this society. In the fall, Juan plans to attend The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
“I truly believe that education is the greatest weapon we have to eradicate poverty.”
Youth Entrepreneurs Georgia
NFTE Class of 2013
While working on his business plan, Akinbola Richardson realized that his generation is the first in which normal people can have access to things that only the elite once had. He explains this, saying, “My community is full of dreamers, people with ideas bigger than their resources and dreams bigger than their hearts. They need someone who can supply resources and tools so that they can take their businesses to the next level.” That’s where Akinbola’s business, BolaFilms, comes in. In Washington, D.C., where Akinbola attends Howard University, BolaFilms is the only video production company specifically tailored to small businesses. While his competitors are fishing for the few big fish, Akinbola is looking for the many small ones. Helping these small businesses grow leads to more jobs in the community. He also provides free services to non-profits with little to no budgets. In the upcoming future, Akinbola plans to turn BolaFilms into a mid-sized advertising agency.
“We are a small business, just like our clients, and we respect and understand the life of a small business.”
Endeavor Chile
NFTE Class of 2013
When Daniela Sáez and Sofía Carrasco sat and down and brainstormed ideas for a business to create, they thought about those citizens of their community with visual disabilities. They wanted to create a way for those with visual impairments to become free from their use of canes. Therefore, they created I-Sense, a robotic prototype capable of helping people with visual disabilities through sensors that make sounds to alert the user to any obstacles in their way. Their plan is for I-Sense to also identify and differentiate colors. In the future, Daniela and Sofía would like to implement a GPS into their tool to allow users to find their way to a destination without help from a third party. After testing their prototype with two blind clients, the team realized that their ‘royal dream’ was within reach, and they are working to create something that will be enormously useful.
NFTE Greater Los Angeles
NFTE Class of 2013
Nicolle Salazar is a shoe fanatic. Frustrated by how often shoe trends change, tired of constantly buying new shoes or relegating old pairs to the back of her closet, she decided to create a way to update her shoes easily and often: Sole Candy. Nicolle now designs, produces and sells high heel shoe accessories that are removable and reusable, allowing the customer to give new life to old shoes without damaging the shoe in any way. With every purchase of Sole Candy, Nicolle gives a portion of the proceeds to the Yellow Ribbon Foundation, which works to prevent teen suicide, about which she has recently become very passionate. Looking ahead, Nicolle hopes to attend UCLA and would like to build an e-commerce site for her business, as well as hiring additional staff to increase efficiency in production and sales.
“When an entrepreneur discovers an opportunity and makes the best of it, who knows how far it can take them in the future?”
Bright China Foundation
NFTE Class of 2013
Sifan Tang regularly attends various exhibitions that are held in Shanghai, oftentimes to do part-time work. The exhibitions usually consist of many different companies that often work together to achieve better publicity with lower costs. This gave Sifan the idea to create a way for small businesses to create a cross-industry alliance. Since many companies have their own membership and discount cards, and it is inconvenient to carry all of the cards on your person at all times, Sifan decided to work with businesses to combine these cards into one versatile discount card, and U-card was born. He has discovered that it is particularly helpful with the many take-out services offered to students, who make up a majority of his customer base. In the future, Sifan hopes to cooperate with banks to gain a bigger market and make U-card more convenient for his customers.
“Entrepreneurship has changed my life. I insist on being innovative, keeping competitive advantages ahead of all the imitators, and at the same time welcome healthy competition.”
Javierana Cali
NFTE Class of 2013
In Pablo Torres’s school, students can elect to study agricultural ecotourism and its importance in his region of Colombia. Through this, he was also able to acquire skills that enable him to perform work in the agricultural field, about which he has become very passionate. Subsequently, in his entrepreneurship class, Pablo was inspired to start a business creating organic fertilizer from biodegradable solid waste that can be widely used in gardening. Pablo sees the potential to create a highly profitable business that would also contribute to clean food production, generating the least possible impact on the environment and natural resources. He is now working with local householders, food vendors, and animal-feed providers to coordinate the collection and storage of the solid waste used in his product. He plans to hire a chemist to assist with facilitating decontamination and production, and looks forward to providing employment for other local workers as his business grows. Pablo was inspired and challenged to propose an idea that would both encourage local employment as well as the responsible use of his community’s natural resources.
NFTE Class of 2013
Charleston, South Carolina, has repeatedly been voted as a top tourist destination by Conde Nast over the past several years, bringing many more travelers to explore the area. With this growth, more and more people are expressing an interest in fishing in its picturesque inshore waterways. Luke Varadi started his company, Reel Fly Charters, because of his passion for fishing and his desire to share his vast knowledge and experience with others. Not only do his customers learn fantastic fishing techniques (and go to some
of the best spots), but Luke teaches them about the marine environment and conservation in order to support the health of the region and the abundance of the catch. Luke is especially challenged to manage his school and business activities while living with juvenile diabetes, for which he depends on a service dog, Mitzi, for support. Last month, Luke turned 18 and is working towards obtaining his captain’s license. In the near future, Luke plans to attend the College of Charleston while running charters on the weekends and during the summer.
“My goal at Reel Fly Charters is to ensure a fun, safe, and educational experience on the Charleston waters.”