Posts Tagged ‘Youth Entrepreneurship in America’


I now receive 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 on page 2 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)



(updated 1-10)

 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.”

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

Facebook: . for information on the April 28th Dare to Dream Gala in Washington DC.

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 –

9] Survey of the States 2009: The State of Economic, Financial and Entrepreneurship Education in our Nation’s Schools by the Council for Economic Education WAYS TO STAY CONNECTED… JOIN THE NFTE CAUSE ON FACEBOOK AND STAY IN THE LOOP WITH EVENTS AND NEWS UPDATES :

NFTE’s official website is

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.

About  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. (


Imagine a World…
Where young people are trained to make it in the market economy.  Where high school is relevant and real life and young people learn skills they will need to build their pathways to prosperity.
At the Aspen Ideas Festival… the US Secretary of Education shared his support that young people learn entrepreneurial skills.  The NFTE Program Highlighted Several Times as Best Practice by  US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talk with Robert Schieffer of CBS’s Face the Nation.
“To find those practices and to scale them up… all this discretionary money we have  All I want to do is invest in those schools those school districts those nonprofits that are both closing the achievement gap and raising the bar for everybody.  So We have an unprecedented opportunity to do that and to take to scale what works.  There is a program, you guys are going to watch a movie tonight, the NFTE Program.  This Ten9Eight movie that focuses on this idea of teaching entrepreneurship.  Well they are doing a phenomenal job… we should have more students engaged in that.  I am a big fan of Teach for America- they are doing a great job of producing in the next generation of teachers… we should invest more in that.  My job is not to come up with the next great idea.  My job is to figure out what’s really working around the country and help those folks take to scale those best practices.. its a unique, unique opportunity.”
– Arne Duncan at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Aspen Colorado,
LINK TO INTERVIEW– quote above featured in minute 29 – 31

Dan Sharpe with the Institute for Large-Scale Innovation:

“I’d like to ask you to comment on a recent quotation of Tom Freidman’s.  He said the stimulus program will help our economy recover, but only innovation will help us retain our competitiveness.  You’re bringing great innovation to the process of education; what changes are you doing in education to enhance the ability of our students to be innovative?”


Arne Duncan:

“That’s a great question.  I think so much of that is providing students with a range of opportunities to pursue their skills and pursue their passions.  So again, just an example, you guys have been watching here tonight, this NFTE program is taking children from some very very tough backgrounds and giving them a chance to be entrepreneurs, to be innovators, to build their own businesses.  There is a young man, I don’t know if he is here, but he is in the movie, Rodney Walker – yeah he’s coming up next.  I don’t want to start crying up here but this young man has overcome some things that most of us think is just unimaginable, but because he had those opportunities, he was on the Dean’s List this year, a freshman at Moore House, class president – very, very tough background, never seen a mountain before he came her today – never seen a mountain.


So we have to find more opportunities to help students find their passion, find their creativity, to give them the ability to innovate, and despite their tough situations they can do great things.”



Excerpt from I SaidYes!

Real Life Stories of Students, Teachers and Leaders Saying YES! To Youth Entrepreneurship in America’s Schools (

By Julie Silard Kantor


Available on and ISBN-10:0-9765823-6-8

Published by Gazelles Inc. © by Julie Kantor.


Deshaun’s 6-foot, 300-pound frame towered over my 5 foot 6 inches. His lower lip twitched as he stared down at me. He was about to cry! Was he mad at me or mad at life? I wondered.

“It’s not that I don’t care, Ms. Julie,” he said, “it’s that I can’t do math!”


From the book – I SAID YES: Real Life Stories of Students, Teachers and Leaders Saying YES! To Youth Entrepreneurship in America’s Schools (



(we want to hear from you on what YOU feel kids should know– see below– please weigh in)

Teaching the free enterprise system and encouraging children to start businesses and create wealth are powerful tools that promote independence and self-sufficiency. Over the past 16 years, I have seen countless examples of how teaching entrepreneurship brings the so-called 3 Rs (reading, writing, and arithmetic) to life for youth. I actually believe that entrepreneurship is educational freedom and it connects to everything young people are learning in school. It’s a practical lifeskill.

I taught a young man in 1994 who learned to do math by selling T-shirts and another young woman learned to read by selling Avon products. Mathematics is incorporated into almost every lesson plan NFTE (the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship) uses, including the Economics of One Unit, Return on Investment, Income Statement, Rule of 72 and many others. When our students meet business leaders, they write thank you notes and use a dictionary to check their spelling. They also learn to write contracts-a crucial business skill-and often begin reading authors like Steve Covey and Reginald Lewis to refine their skills. Public speaking is also reinforced when each young person participates in a mock sales call and sells to the general public through a NFTE field trip to a local wholesaler followed by a youth trade showcase.

But let’s take a deeper look at the life skills of entrepreneurship. These are the 10 concepts we believe every young person should learn about before they graduate from high school.




The world economy is changing rapidly, and this brings enormous challenges and opportunities for educating America’s youth. With the right portfolio of skills, especially in science and math, as well as the development of creativity, young Americans can become the world’s next generation of enterprising and innovative business people. But we have not yet created an educational environment that fully develops these critical skills in young people. As a result, America’s youth–especially the growing numbers of high school dropouts–lose the opportunity to enjoy successful and rewarding careers, and our nation loses the opportunity to lead in an increasingly competitive world.

We can change this course. Lacking in our youth is an entrepreneurial mindset — a critical mix of success-oriented attitudes of initiative, intelligent risk-taking, collaboration, and opportunity recognition skills. With the pace of innovation, many of the jobs our children will hold don’t even exist yet. Not only will the traditional skills of reading, writing, and math be needed to thrive in this economy, but also technological savvy and self-direction. More than ever, we need to educate students to be dynamic, lifelong learners.

We believe that expanding the availability of youth entrepreneurship education resources should be a critical part of this solution. Through the process of starting their own ventures, young minds are engaged, talent is explored, and youth, particularly at risk youth, become empowered.