With the start of the school year, the folks over at the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) start their engines as well. NFTE's mission" is to provide programs that inspire young people from low-income communities to stay in school, recognize business opportunities and to plan for successful futures." I, along with several other colleagues at the bank, have been involved in the program at various Baltimore City schools for the last four years. As Baltimore's community bank, we work with the teachers as they incorporate the NFTE curriculum into their lesson plans. We go into the classroom on a weekly basis and work with these young entrepreneurs to help them identify business ideas, develop their business plan, and get their businesses started.
These rising young entrepreneurs in waiting then compete in local business plan competitions, first in their classroom and then against other students in a city-wide competition. At these events, they present their business plans to panels of judges for cash prizes. For those who win their local competition, there are even opportunities to compete with other young entrepreneurs from around the country. A couple of the young entrepreneurs we worked with at Patterson High School were even featured in a movie, "Ten9Eight" about a national business plan competition in New York. We've stayed in touch with one of these students who is now a sophomore pursuing a business degree at the University of Baltimore.
NFTE is a terrific organization that can really make a difference in our community. Teaching our young people financial literacy and business insight is extremely important to the Baltimore Community and we at 1st Mariner Bank are proud to be involved in such a meaningful organization. If you are looking for an opportunity to work with the youth in the city, there are plenty of ways to get involved. Visit the NFTE-Baltimore website to find out more.