12/06/2013 Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship




The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) mission is to provide programs that inspire young people from low-income communities to stay in school, recognize business opportunities and plan for successful futures. Founded in New York City in 1987 by Steve Mariotti, a former entrepreneur turned high school math teacher in the South Bronx, NFTE began as a program to prevent dropouts and improve academic performance among students who were at risk of failing or quitting school. NFTE now operates in 18 states, Washington D.C., and 10 countries through 11 program offices and numerous licensed partners. To date, NFTE has worked with more than 500,000 young people from low-income communities in programs around the world, and we are looking to reach 500,000 more by 2017.

The NFTE Program Model
Our program model is classroom-based with entrepreneurship curricula that teach math and literacy skills in the context of building a business plan. 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 NFTE Student Participants
Our students come from low-income communities in major cities across the country, which are often plagued by crime, violence, and high dropout rates. Conversely, NFTE instills hope and improves students’ lives through entrepreneurship education. We teach skills relevant to the real world, and motivate students to stay in school and learn. When they realize how math and reading and communication skills can make or break their own entrepreneurial venture, their vision of the world changes.

NFTE’s innovative and relevant program courses inspire them to graduate, go to college, and embark on successful careers. They learn to recognize opportunities for success all around them. They graduate with the necessary presentation, leadership, and problem-solving skills for continuing their education and contributing to the economy by either running their own businesses or joining the workforce. The strong financial literacy skills that students learn help them to make and manage money.


Highly Academic Curriculum
During a semester or year-long class at school, a NFTE-certified teacher guides students through our curriculums using our award-winning textbooks Entrepreneurship: Owning Your Future or Exploring Careers for the 21st Century. Entrepreneurship: Owning Your Future is a student-friendly, comprehensive guide to developing a business plan. A recipient of the Association of Educational Publisher's Distinguished Achievement Award in the mathematics category, the curriculum focuses on critical basic business skills including business communications, negotiating, social responsibility and goal-setting. Exploring Careers for the 21st Century helps students learn about different career choices and prepare for their futures by providing a broad exploration of career opportunities, highlighting promising careers and skills, and teaching the principles of personal finance, economics and entrepreneurship.

Fieldtrips, Games & Experiential Activities, and Competitions
NFTE prides itself on making learning fun!  We bring learning to life through experiential games like the Buying and Selling Event, where NFTE students are given funds to buy products on a fieldtrip to a wholesale district or warehouse club, which they then re-price and sell for a profit, helping them learn the principles of supply, demand, marketing and selling. Additionally, 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.


NFTE has worked with 500,000 young people globally over our first 25 years and over the coming years we want to increase brand visibility to gather the resources necessary to achieve our goal of reaching 1,000,000 young people in total in 2017.

Stay up-to-date with NFTE activity around the world by following us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and our website!


Derek Newtown
Director of Communications                       
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