Dallas (June 3, 2023) – Global entrepreneurship education nonprofit Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) has named five local student businesses as the winners of its annual South Regional Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. The young entrepreneurs distinguished themselves through innovative business ideas, which they will present at the national finals in New York on October 3 to compete for the National Champion title and cash prizes from a pool of $18,000.

Competitors pitched their original business concepts to a panel of esteemed judges, James Johnson, SVP, Director Retail Risk and Operations, Comerica; Evelyn Solorzano, VP, Small Business Community Officer, Bank of America; and Courtney Thurman, Banking Center President at Prosperity Bank; who selected a first-place winner to receive $1,500, a second-place winner to receive $1,000, a third-place winner to receive $500, and two runners up to each receive $100. The winners are:

  • 1st Place: Emerson Oborn from Henry W. Longfellow School with her idea for Everything Chickens, a business that provides 2-week-old hatchling, mixed breed chickens in the Dallas area.
  • 2nd Place: Shannon Ramirez from Grand Prairie High School for the Highly Gifted in Grand Prairie, Texas, with her idea for Benchi, a dynamic 3-in-1 bench that provides temporary shelter, particularly for the unhoused.
  • 3rd Place: Zachary Moskowitz from Hillcrest High School in Dallas with his idea for E-Z Form, a customizable form filling software for businesses to collect information from customers, employees, or other stakeholders.

“We are so proud of these brilliant young minds and in awe of their commitment to entrepreneurship and making a difference in this world,” said Dr. J.D. LaRock, CEO of NFTE. “Through their creativity and original ideas, our students demonstrate the power of their generation to transform their communities. When young people are given a platform to sharpen their skills and rise to their full potential, our economy and society thrive.”

The NFTE South Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge was presented by Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) and Santander, with associate support from the Citi Foundation.

For media inquiries regarding NFTE, please contact Vanessa Hsia at 929-551-3813 or [email protected]; or Denise Berkhalter at 917-281-4362 or [email protected].

About NFTE

Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) ignites the entrepreneurial mindset with unique learning experiences that empower students to own their futures. A global nonprofit founded in 1987, NFTE provides high-quality entrepreneurship education to middle school, high school and postsecondary students. NFTE brings the power of entrepreneurship to students, regardless of family income, community resources, special needs, gender identity, race, or ethnicity. NFTE has educated more than a million students, delivering our programs in school, out of school, in-person, online, or through hybrid models. Visit nfte.com to learn more.