The NFTE Program

In just 65 hours, NFTE’s highly academic and experiential program can change a young person’s life.

Working with schools in low-income communities where at least 50% of the students are eligible for free or reduced lunch, NFTE targets young people who are at risk of dropping out of school and helps them graduate with their own personal plans for success.

Highly Academic – A semester or year long class at school with a NFTE-certified teacher who guides students through one of our curriculums: Entrepreneurship: Owning Your Future  orExploring 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. Each student comes up with an idea for a business and works throughout the course to prepare a business plan which they present and defend to a panel of judges.


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.
  • Experiential Activities: 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 and then goes on to present and defend it in a classroom competition. The winners of these competitions go on to compete in city-wide or regional competitions, with the hopes of reaching our annual national competition.

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