Toheeb Okenla and Jesus Fernandez were recently named winners of NFTE’s annual National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge(NYEC) for their business T&J Soccer, a retail business that sells soccer socks to protect player’s shins during game.
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.
The following is a Q&A with NFTE Bay Area Board Member Dean Sivara; Mr. Sivara is the Vice President of Ideation for the Global Business Incubator at SAP.
Why are you involved with NFTE?
I have been involved with NFTE for 2 years. The organization focuses on introducing entrepreneur principles to under-privileged kids, which is an excellent cause to promote technology and entrepreneurship to kids who don’t have many resources in their young lives.
What motivates you?
Helping young people obtain more insights into how to start a business. Helping young people achieve business goals and push towards entering college.
By: Ernst & Young LLP's McLean Tax Partner John Domenick
When I joined the Ernst & Young organization in 1999, the mindset of corporate responsibility stood out to me in every aspect of our business. Intrigued, impressed, excited — those were the words that came to mind when I was first introduced to Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) and its mission. After relocating to McLean, Virginia, in 2011, I got involved with the local high school class Ernst & Young LLP had recently adopted through NFTE's Adopt-a-Class program. I became leader of our Adopt-a-Class program shortly thereafter, recognizing its alignment with the firm's community engagement efforts.
Wow! What a treat it was to attend the 2013 MasterCard Global Inclusion Summit.
The MasterCard Global Inclusion Summit, a companywide event, was held at MasterCard’s beautiful headquarters in Purchase, NY last week. The Summit was a series of panel discussions and interviews by MasterCard employee moderators, providing insights on “next” practices that best link diversity and inclusion to drive business impact. It focused on the many ways MasterCard employees could use their diverse backgrounds and experiences to strengthen MasterCard’s understanding of the complex challenges in the global marketplace.
I’ve been involved with NFTE for almost 4 years now – wow!
What started as a way for me to utilize my skillsets as an investor and advisor to entrepreneurs in support of my passion for education has morphed into, honestly, a way of life. Late last year I made a career switch and joined an education-focused startup company, www.campusexplorer.com, with the goal of founding my own one day.
While this was the scariest decision of my life, I felt a strange comfort because of two important lessons that have guided me. Interestingly enough, these two lessons are the core of NFTE. It’s why NFTE matters.