Jesus Fernandez and Toheeb Okenla 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.
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.
My name is Jessica Cervantes and I am the founder of Popsy Cakes, the 2008 NFTE National award winning company. NFTE changed my life. They didn’t just teach me how to operate my own business, but they taught life skills. I am able to communicate with others and I can even stand and speak in front of an audience, and although I am still terribly nervous, I have conquered my fear of public speaking. NFTE has also in many ways funded my company and my education. I am now a senior at the University of Miami. I am a Microbiology major and hope to attend Med School in the Fall of 2014. My business is thriving, thanks to the help of many, notably Bill Hansen, Craig Edelmen, and Stewart Merkin. Popsy Cakes is now in over 50 locations including Miami International Airport and Bongos in Downtown Disney. We are now expanding our company, looking for investors, and trying to meet our high demand.
My story began about 6 years ago when I was a junior at John A. Ferguson Senior High School.
My name is Maxine Colon and I'm currently a NFTE student, attending the BusinessTechnology Program at Keefe Tech in Framingham, MA. During shop, my NFTE teacher Mrs. Ellis introduced the NFTE Business Plan and encouraged us to start thinking of business ideas which was not as easy as it sounds! I started talking with friends and I hadn’t even connected my real life to this course. Yet!
I didn’t know anything about the fundamentals of business when I was first introduced to the entrepreneurship class at my school, but I knew that I loved marketing. In September, my NFTE class went on a field trip to the Philadelphia Convention Center to meet and work with professionals from Ernst & Young. At the EY Connect Day, I was introduced to Mrs. Sylvia McKinney, the executive director of NFTE Philadelphia, and the business world. We all had an assignment to develop a better business plan from a business assigned to us at random. The group that I led performed perfectly, and we won the competition that day.