Please forward this error screen teaching kids entrepreneurship 164. Jabious and Anthony Williams were living crammed with their mom and eight other family members in their aunt’s two-bedroom apartment in Anacostia, a violent Southeast Washington, D. Every day the boys walked miles to the nearest Exxon station to pump gas for tips. One day, the Williams brothers met Mena Lofland, a caring business teacher at Suitland High School in Maryland.
The boys had developed independence, grit, salesmanship and hard-won street smarts. As a result, both showed great aptitude for entrepreneurship. 5,000 to use as a down payment on a house. As an educator of at-risk youth for over thirty years, and NFTE’s founder, I’ve seen only one thing consistently bring children raised in poverty into the middle class: entrepreneurship education. I’ve personally witnessed thousands of young people discover their potential through our owner-entrepreneurship courses.
I’ve watched with pride as many of our 450,000-plus alumni have successfully moved into the middle class—as lifetime entrepreneurs or as educated, productive workers with good jobs. I’ve seen apathetic kids whose families have been on welfare for generations get excited about school and their futures. They discover that they can participate in our economy and earn money. They quickly realize that to do so, they must to learn to read, write and do math. I’ve also seen how owning even the simplest small business fills a teen with pride. At NFTE, we call our programs owner-entrepreneurship education to stress the power of ownership to create wealth. Disadvantaged youth are seldom let in on the connection between ownership and wealth creation.
What about teaching kids the ownership skills that made your fortune so they can become financially independent? But then who would do the work? NFTE students don’t just learn record-keeping, sales, finance, negotiation, opportunity recognition, and marketing. They also learn how to properly value and sell a business, and how to build wealth through franchising, licensing and other advantages of ownership. Owner-entrepreneurship education empowers young people to make well-informed decisions about their future, whether they choose to become entrepreneurs or not. Our students discover that, like every individual, they already own five powerful assets: time, talent, attitude, energy and unique knowledge of one’s local market.