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NFTE: Golden Lamp Award

Sometimes I think
 creativity is magic,
 it's not a matter
 of finding an idea,
 but allowing the idea
to find you.

 - Maya Lin



What is NFTE?


The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE -- pronounced "nifty"), founded in 1987 and based in New York City, is an international nonprofit organization that introduces low-income and at-risk young people to the world of business and entrepreneurship by teaching them how to develop and operate their own legitimate small businesses. Please explore their site and see how we can make a difference and how you can make a difference with us!


NFTE's Mission


NFTE’s mission is to teach entrepreneurship to low-income young people, ages 11 through 18, so they can become economically productive members of society by improving their academic, business, technology and life skills.  NFTE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.


NFTE's History and Overview


Founded in 1987 by Steve Mariotti (a former business executive and entrepreneur) while he was a public  high school teacher in New York City’s South Bronx, NFTE began as a dropout prevention and academic performance improvement program for students who were at risk of failing or quitting school. Combining his business background with his desire to teach at-risk students, Steve discovered that when low-income youth are given the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship their innate “street smarts” can easily develop into “academic smarts” and “business smarts.” Through entrepreneurship, youth discover that what they are learning in the classroom is relevant to the real world.

NFTE is widely viewed as a world leader in promoting entrepreneurial literacy among youth. When young people participate in our programs they begin to unlock their unique entrepreneurial creativity, have a greater understanding of the free enterprise system, improve the quality of their lives, and dare to dream for bright futures.

For the past 16 years NFTE has been providing underserved youth with the tools they need to realize their full potential. Based on proven impact in areas of business knowledge, formation rates, and attitudes, NFTE has grown from an inspired idea into a dynamic international organization. To date, NFTE has introduced over 80,000 young people to the world of business and entrepreneurship and trained more than 2,400 teachers and youth work professionals in NFTE’s program methodology


New! Harvard Graduate School of Education Research

Currently, NFTE is participating in a multi-year longitudinal program evaluation study, led by Human Development and Psychology professor Dr. Michael Nakkula at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. This national research effort will assess the relationship between students’ academic performance and their participation in NFTE programs and will provide valuable insights about the multiple kinds of academic and developmental impacts that NFTE can facilitate for students. Results of the first phase, carried out in Boston, have recently become available

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