Our program model is classroom-based with entrepreneurship curricula that teach important career ready skills in the context of building a business plan. Our project-based learning lessons and experiential classrooms further provide students the opportunity to develop an entrepreneurial mindset that supports their ability to solve complex problems, recognize opportunity and understand the value of assessing and taking calculated risks. Programs are rigorous, experiential, and vital to students’ futures, and volunteers from local businesses share their expertise in our classrooms. At the end of the course, the students have a chance to compete for seed capital through a series of business plan competitions, from their classroom, to Regionals, to NFTE’s national competition.
Our program is:
Highly Academic - During a semester or year long class at school, a NFTE-certified teacher guides students through one of our curriculums: Entrepreneurship: Owning Your Future or Exploring Careers for the 21st Century. Lessons include the concepts of competitive advantage, ownership, opportunity recognition, marketing, finance, and product development - and all tie back to core math and literacy skills.
Our program includes:
Fieldtrips, Games & Experiential Activities - NFTE brings learning to life through fun and experiential games including:
- The Buying and Selling Event: NFTE gives students funds to buy products on a fieldtrip to a wholesale district or warehouse club, which they then reprice and sell for a profit, helping them learn the principles of supply, demand, marketing and selling.
- Games: NFTE prides itself on making learning fun! Activities such as the Innovation Game - where students take items such as paper plates, pipe cleaners and construction paper, devise an invention and present it to the class - teaches students how to identify consumer needs, communicate their ideas and to practice the art of sales and persuasion.
- Community Walks: Students look at businesses in the community and speak with owners to learn how to identify opportunities and competitive advantage.
Volunteers - Giving students the opportunity to hear from and interact with real-world entrepreneurs and business leaders is essential to the NFTE experience. Our classes regularly have guest speakers. We pair students with coaches to work on their business plans, and our business plan competitions are judges by local entrepreneurs and business people. Find out more about becoming a volunteer.
Competition - Each young person who takes a NFTE class works toward completing a business plan, then goes on to present and defend it in a classroom competition. The winners of these competitions go on to compete in citywide or regional competitions, with the hopes of reaching our annual national competition.