Boston, MA (June 6, 2023) – Global entrepreneurship education nonprofit Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) has named four local student businesses as the winners of its annual New England 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, Kate Homer, VP, Independent Assurance, Finance at Bose Corporation; Sharon Keeley, SVP and District Executive at Santander Bank; Samanda Morales, Co-founder & CEO of Ahora Inc.; Daniel New, Managing Director at Ernst & Young LLP; and Brett Miller, Head of Martech Engineering at Wayfair, who selected a first-place winner to receive $1,500, a second-place winner to receive $1,000 and two runners up to each receive $250. The winners are:

  • 1st Place: Zainabou Thiam of The MET School in Rhode Island with her business Sunu Body, a line of products designed to bring out the world’s natural beauty through the influence of African culture.
  • 2nd Place: Raneem Al Suwaidani of The MET School with her business Lilypad, which offers food truck rental opportunities to BIPOC entrepreneurs so they can test culinary concepts in a low-cost, risk-free environment.
  • Runner Up: Bianca Fatu of Ipswich High School in Massachusetts with her business Necklace Chargers—safe, affordable, and stylish necklaces that double as device chargers.
  • Runner Up: Charlotte Furman of Barnstable High School in Massachusetts with her business Stepping Stones Daycare, a fun, safe, and creative way to support busy parents who need unique child care hours.

“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 New England Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge was presented by Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) and Santander, with signature support from UniCare, and associate support from Fenway Sports Group and HOPR Ventures.

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 to learn more.