During the February 2024 National Entrepreneurship Week, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) announced the launch of NFTE Nexus Policy Briefs, a new series dedicated to exploring critical topics in education.

These briefs offer clear, comprehensive, and impartial insights, designed to bring you up to speed on complex issues. Our inaugural policy brief, “Empowering the Future Workforce: The Crucial Role of Entrepreneurship in Youth Skill-Building for Career Readiness,” explores the connection between entrepreneurship education and preparing today’s youth for successful careers.

Why This Topic?

What does entrepreneurship education look like today? How does it impact workforce development or influence the future of entrepreneurship? The answer to both questions is rooted in an understanding of the entrepreneurial mindset – something that has been a focus for NFTE since our organization was founded. In recent years, federal laws such as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) have played a pivotal role in ensuring that young people nationwide gain access to invaluable work-based learning opportunities.

At NFTE, we recognize the importance of equipping young individuals with essential skills for success in the workforce. Our entrepreneurship programs directly address these needs by fostering creativity, digital literacy, critical thinking, collaboration, and persistence – skills highlighted in the WIOA Reauthorization. NFTE’s curriculum is structured around eight domains, each aligned with the skills essential for thriving in today’s economy. Through our programs, we bridge the gap between research recommendations and policy support, providing students with the tools they need to succeed.

Why Now?

In today’s rapidly evolving job market, the need for a fundamental shift in workforce development is more pressing than ever. At NFTE, we believe that recognizing entrepreneurship as a core component of career readiness is essential. The continued inclusion of entrepreneurial education and the addition of a core set of skills into high school work-based programs, as outlined in the House Education and Workforce Committee’s marked up version of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), signals a crucial step forward. This recognition underscores the importance of fostering entrepreneurial skills alongside traditional career preparation.