Archive for the ‘NFTE’ Category

 To recharge, I often reflect on the words, “My dream is not to die in poverty, but to have poverty die in me.” Those are the words of Michelle Araujo, then a teen entrepreneur who I met 19 years ago on my first week volunteering for a nonprofit called NFTE. Michelle is one of thousands of students who have learned that they don’t have to simply take a job, they can make a job!  Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship ( continues to be widely viewed as a world leader in promoting entrepreneurial and financial literacy among youth.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said : “Not every young person wants to work for a big business so we need a systemic approach to teach them entrepreneurship. NFTE has the best program in the country.” As you know, entrepreneurship education, if done right, impacts students’ basic academic and life skills through a hands-on program and curriculum (think Mini MBA) that enlivens math, reading and writing, and develops skills in critical thinking, teamwork, communication and decision-making. 

 I have been thinking a lot about the DC job market, where pockets of our city have upwards of 30% unemployment and 91% of our local students don’t graduate from college! 72% of jobs according to Georgetown University, require a college education so we recruit from outside the ‘best and brightest’.

But what about our own local kids? Entrepreneurship education can truly transform how we approach talent development. It is based on the premise of meeting needs in the neighborhood and local community, which makes it an effective response to regional economic shocks we are experiencing.

Entrepreneurship training prepares youth to create jobs and become superior employee candidates with a winning entrepreneurial mindset. We need to prepare the youth of our nation’s capital to become economically self-sufficient by giving them options and training to take charge of their lives and their futures. Youth entrepreneurship keeps them engaged in high school and often inspires them to pursue a college degree.

Since 1995, we have served over 24,000 students in DC, Maryland and Virginia public and charter schools, and this year we will work with an additional 1,000 students at 25 area schools. We also have created nationally a community college curriculum (Pearsons Publishing) to expand our mission to another underserved population. This field needs to scale so that every low-income child in our region has the tools to build their own exit strategy from poverty!

Career readiness has often been marginalized at best, if we can tie this work more to academic outcomes, perhaps its the time to make it front and center!

Julie Silard Kantor Executive Director Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, DC Region (

I SAID YES- Youth Entrepreneurship in America’s Schools by Julie Silard Kantor (Gazelles Publishing) is now available on Amazon KINDLE and as a paperback edition at


Dear Friends of Youth Entrepreneurship America!

I am so proud to share with you that Entrepreneurship: Owing Your Future, the 11th edition of NFTE’s curriculum, was recently chosen by the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) as the best math curriculum for high school students!

 The Distinguished Achievement Award is given to handful of curricula each year that exemplify the strict academic standards of the AEP. This is the second award that NFTE’s curriculum has won – our  ninth edition was chosen to receive the Golden Lamp Award by the AEP in 2003. You can read more about the award on our website.

The NFTE curriculum focuses on critical basic business skills that reinforce the fundamentals of mathematics, including how to calculate the economics of one unit, return on investment, the creation of income statements and balance sheets, and how to manage cash flow. These concepts are rounded out with essential business concepts such as opportunity recognition, creating a marketing plan, negotiation, time management and goal setting.

To view a sample chapter and the front matter for Entrepreneurship: Owning Your Future, go to

We are now gearing up for NFTE University Teacher Training the last week of July in collaboration with George Washington University’s Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence.  Over 16 new DC,MD & VA teachers will certified and launching programs this Fall.  For more details on the training contact

Have a safe, happy and healthy summer!

Warm Regards,

Julie Silard Kantor

Executive Director

NFTE DC Region


clubs and school-based book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries, television networks and the Company’s Internet Site, 


Mary Mazzio, an award-winning director, is Founder and CEO of 50 Eggs LLC, an independent film production company. Mary wrote, directed and produced the highly acclaimed award-winning films, 



Lemonade Stories, Apple Pie, A Hero for Daisy and she recently completed we are BlackRock. A Hero for Daisy was hailed by The New York Times as a “landmark film;” “fantastic” by Sports Illustrated; “remarkable” by NPR; aired nationwide on ESPN, Oxygen, and WTSN-Canada; and is in thousands of classrooms across the country. Apple Pie aired nationwide on ESPN to critical acclaim, and was called “illuminating – told with deftness and emotion… priceless” by The New York Times; “heartwarming” by Los Angeles Times; “fantastic”- NPR, and “excellent” – CNN. Lemonade Stories, which aired nationwide on CNNfn (and which aired nationwide in Latin America, the UK, Israel, the Middle East, New Zealand, and Hong Kong), was the subject of cover stories by USA Today (complete with a trailer and photos on USA Today’s splash page),, The Christian Science Monitor, ABC, as well as featured on NPR, Bloomberg Radio, and in Fast Company

.Mazzio, an Olympic athlete (1992-Rowing), is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Georgetown Law School, and was formerly a partner with the law firm of Brown Rudnick in Boston, MA. She has served on a number of Boards of Directors including the Shackleton Schools (which serve high school students in danger of failing in traditional high schools), and Sojourner House (a homeless shelter). She resides in Massachusetts with her husband, Jay Manson, and two children. ( 


About the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship  


(NFTE) is an international nonprofit organization that teaches young people from low-income communities to think like entrepreneurs, so they can take control of their futures. Founded in 1987 by Steve Mariotti, a former New York City public school teacher, it originally began as a dropout prevention and academic performance improvement program for students who were at risk of failing or quitting school. Today, NFTE has grown into a comprehensive business education program in 22 states and 12 countries with more than 280,000 graduates and more than 1,500 NFTE-certified entrepreneurship teachers. (





About 50 Eggs Films 













A note to my ‘Youth Entrepreneurship in America!’ Blog readers,

I get weekly requests now from media and educational leaders to understand the field of youth entrepreneurship education. I am not surprised, there is a lot happening and with unemployment hovering at 10% and a growing epidemic of high school dropouts (1:2 minority youth), we really need programs to engage youth with RELEVANT AND REAL LIFE SKILLS in our schools.

From a recent White House Report (not yet released), to the World Economic Forum paper, to an Aspen Institute Publication and NFTE research– I hope these links will help you in your journey to better understand our field and to help youth find their PATHWAYS TO PROSPERITY.

The best Powerpoint presentation that I have ever seen is ‘Shift Happens,’ (on slideshare– over a million viewers) because it tells a story, its fascinating, and the graphics by my new friend Jeff Brenman are stunning… Most importantly, my ADD brain took it all in and I really learned something and wanted to share it with everyone I knew/know… so being my entrepreneurial self I begged Jeff to help me create a visual slideshow to share the importance of youth entrepreneurship education in America and explain NFTE in a fun and entertaining style (see Tanya’s Story… its a true story of one of our DC youth… and her story, to me represents thousands of youth … see link below).

If you have suggestions or other links I should really add — let me know. Write me anytime. Connect on Facebook or follow me and ‘Retweet’ on Twitter. I plan to update this document monthly and send related information out on NFTE and our field… weekly!

In Entrepreneurial Spirit,

Julie Kantor

National Vice President

Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship Washington Office (DC Programs and Government Affairs)




Keeping You Connected and in the Know (updated 1-10)

HOT OFF THE PRESS: State of Entrepreneurship Conference – National Press Club, January 2010

” — in this time of great economic difficulty — is concerned above all else with creating more jobs for Americans…and there is simply no better vehicle for job creation than fostering entrepreneurship.,” Secretary of Commerce, Locke, January 2010. Entrepreneurs create approximately three million jobs a year.”


NFTE’s official website is

1] Ten9EIGHT- Shoot for the Moon – POWERFUL Movie in AMC Theatres this past Fall and will air upcoming on BET February 7th at 12:00pm featuring 25 NFTE Students by famous producer Mary Mazzio of 50 Eggs Productions: – Movie premiered at Aspen Ideas Festival- July 1, 2009 and is profiled on the front page of the Aspen site . The movie will be introduced by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. JOIN Facebook ‘fan’ site for movie-

2] Tanya’s Story — Powerful New Presentation- Youth Entrepreneurship in America Site becoming an internet sensation with over 8,000 Slideshare viewers and through viral marketing to explore impact of youth entrepreneurship education with Obama and Duncan quotes (Four students– each receiving $50 and how they invested their money…)

3] USA TODAY ARTICLE – Cover story in Money section on youth creating their own jobs in this tight labor market

4] NFTE IMPACT – Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) has engaged in extensive research efforts with more underway to study ourselves and assess impact.

5] MAJOR REPORT – released in May by the World Economic Forum “Educating the Next Wave of Entrepreneurs” or – NFTE wrote the youth chapter.

The World Economic Forum’s Educating the Next Wave of Entrepreneurs report issues a call to action to catalyse entrepreneurship globally through education
Issued by the Forum’s Global Education Initiative, • the report aims to raise awareness of the importance of entrepreneurship education in unlocking entrepreneurial capabilities to meet the global challenges of the 21st century

“Entrepreneurship education is crucial in restarting the economy in this time of economic crisis”-

Alex Wong, Head of Global Education Initiative, World Economic Forum .

6] NFTE Greater Washington & Government Affairs Social Media Links


7] Aspen Institute’s Youth Entrepreneurship Strategy Group (YES Group) – links to key publications and membership “Youth Entrepreneurship in America – Policymakers Action Guide” (if trouble finding after 1-2010 — contact The group has now become the Youth Entrepreneurship Alliance… details can now be found at under the Consortium of Entrepreneurship Education.

8] INSPIRING BOOK! I SAID YES! Real Life Stories of Students, Teachers and Leaders Saying YES! to Entrepreneurship in America’s Schools by Julie Kantor –

Julie Kantor’s Blog on Youth Entrepreneurship in America! :

Twitter: Follow “@NFTEJuliek” to stay in the know… or find me on Facebook for daily/weekly updates.

Part of the Solution… in response to White House Conference on Jobs and the Economy

Youth Entrepreneurship Education: An Essential Tool in Preparing Our 21st Century Workforce

Youth entrepreneurship enables young people to forge their own unique path to success and feel a sense of ownership in their lives. Michelle Araujo, a young entrepreneur who owns A La Mode Fashions, said it best: “My dream is not to die in poverty, but to have poverty die in me.” Entrepreneurship education gave her an exit strategy from poverty and honed her skills to compete in today’s economy.

While most budding entrepreneurs have no choice but to develop their business skills by trial and error, there is strong evidence indicating that an organized approach to teaching entrepreneurship to at-risk youth can dramatically increase their interest in college and occupational aspirations. At Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) we take this evidence seriously and have created programs to teach entrepreneurship skills to middle school and high school students, providing them with both the skills and motivation to stay in school and become productive participants in today’s economy.

The entrepreneurship model NFTE presents to 11- 20 year old youth trains them to observe their surroundings and identify unmet needs in their communities. We then work to inspire them to find creative ways to meet those needs by offering goods and services in the marketplace. Along the way, they learn to develop business plans, calculate return on investment, order raw materials, create a product or service and market it effectively. Most importantly though, young people in our program learn the skills and knowledge to take control of their economic futures and the futures of their families.

Entrepreneurship education can truly transform how we approach talent development. It is based on the premise of meeting needs in the neighborhood and local community, which makes it an effective response to regional economic shocks. Whether or not students end up running their own businesses long term or working for someone else, they gain an appreciation for the value of ‘real life’ learning that keeps them engaged in high school and often inspires them to pursue a college degree. NFTE’s approach embodies the concept of fostering applied learning and pathways to graduation and post secondary opportunities.

Incorporating entrepreneurship training into the curricula of Title I institutions across the country would benefit America’s communities both by contributing to local economic development and by providing the means for low-income youths to develop skills that will significantly increase their employability after high school. Currently only 50,000 American youth from low-income communities have access to Youth Entrepreneurship Education. We recommend that policymakers scale this movement on a city, state and national level.

Entrepreneurship training prepares youth to create jobs and become superior employee candidates with a winning entrepreneurial mindset. We need to prepare our nation’s youth to become economically self-sufficient by giving them options and training to take charge of their lives and their futures.

By Julie Silard Kantor, Vice President,
Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship
(NFTE Washington Office) –