Success Starts Here

Entrepreneurship:
The Best Preparation for the
Innovation Economy

The Problem

Youth are not prepared to seize the opportunities of the 21th Century.

71 million youth are unemployed.

[International Labour Organization]

1 in 3 U.S. employers seeks entrepreneurial experience in its hires.

[Millennial Branding]

New businesses account for nearly all net new job creation and almost 20% of gross job creation.

[Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, 2015]

Entrepreneurs age 20-34 have been on the decline, down from 34.3% of all new entrepreneurs in the 1997 Kauffman Index to 25% in the 2016 index.

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Solution = Mindset

Success starts here. Teaching entrepreneurship changes mindsets, changes lives, changes the world. We must equip young people with an innovator’s eye and a founder’s grit–the skills to excel in an innovation economy. And with economists predicting the jobs of tomorrow don’t even exist today, entrepreneurial skills are skills for life.

  • Initiative & Self-Reliance

    The power to take ownership of a project without input or guidance and work through obstacles independently.

  • Flexibility & Adaptability

    The ability and willingness to change actions and plans to overcome present and future challenges.

  • Communication & Collaboration

    The ability to clearly express ideas to an intended audience, including persuading others to work towards a common goal.

  • Creativity & Innovation

    The ability to think of ideas and create solutions to problems without clearly defined structures.

  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

    The capacity to apply higher-level, process-oriented thinking, consider an issue from a range of possible perspectives, and use that reasoning to make decisions.

  • Future Orientation

    An optimistic disposition with a focus on obtaining the skills and knowledge required to transition into a career.

  • Opportunity Recognition

    The practice of seeing and experiencing problems as opportunities to create solutions.

  • Comfort with Risk

    The capacity to move forward with a decision despite inevitable uncertainty and challenges.

Impact

  • Data demonstrates that NFTE students succeed academically, in their careers, and as founders.

  • 86% of NFTE alumni are either employed or furthering their education.

  • 80% of NFTE alumni are in college or have graduated college.

  • 1 in 4 NFTE alumni have started at least one business post-NFTE.

  • NFTE alumni earn 50% more than their peers.

Success
Stories

Jasmine Lawrence

Entrepreneurial Journey

When Jasmine completed her NFTE BizCamp and pitched her first business, she didn’t place first, second, or third in her camp’s competition. What she won was more valuable—confidence in her ability to start a new enterprise. Applying what she learned, Jasmine launched Eden Bodyworks, whose products now live at your local Walmart, Walgreens, and other leading retailers. Jasmine also had a passion for technology—so she studied engineering in college and graduate school, worked for Microsoft, and now works in robotics while overseeing her company.

Joshua Fajardo and Eddy Giron

Innovation Spotlight

Time's Up
NFTE Class of 2013

Toothpaste for children, designed to change color after two minutes

Evin Floyd Robinson

Entrepreneurial Journey

With the help of his NFTE class, Evin launched his first business at the age of 16 with less than $100 in savings. Evin went on to apply his entrepreneurial mindset at Syracuse University, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees. While a technology consultant, Evin learned that only 1% of NYC public-school students learn about computing or information systems. In response, he co-founded New York On Tech (NYOT), creating pathways for under-represented students into tech degrees and careers. Evin also serves as an adviser to early stage technology, education, and social impact organizations.

Tessa Beatrice

Innovation Spotlight

Underdog Comics
NFTE Class of 2016

A web comic book series featuring diverse heroes, designed to inspire kids from different backgrounds and with different abilities

Kyle Wong

Entrepreneurial Journey

While in high school, Kyle helped found three businesses featured on prominent news sources, helping him become the first in his family to attend college. As a student at Stanford University and a member of the school’s accelerator program, Kyle started his current business, Pixlee: a social marketing campaign platform for collecting, curating, and displaying photos. Pixlee clients include The North Face, 1-800-Flowers, and approximately a quarter of NFL teams. Kyle is also a Forbes.com contributor, covering digital media and entrepreneurship.

Rodney Shearin

Innovation Spotlight

Glow Cane
NFTE Class of 2015

A light-up cane inspired by Rodney's grandmother, who now has difficulty seeing at night

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