Inspirational Young Entrepreneurs – Part #1
Want to read about young people today who are getting it right? Going for it? Pursuing their dreams? This four-part series serves it up to you in spades with stories that will blow your mind, warm your heart and – if all goes well – line the pockets of the featured young entrepreneurs.
Kicking off the series is Ten9Eight, Shoot for the Moon by director Mary Mazzio. This film is THE cinematic rendering of the American dream. Inspiration matters in this day and age, not just on a personal level – but a business level too. Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts stated at the 2009 HSM World Business Forum, “It’s no longer enough just to get people’s attention, you need to inspire.”
From the Ten 9 Eight Site:
“In America, a kid drops out of school every 9 seconds. Imagine if they didn’t.
This is the compelling question behind award-winning filmmaker Mary Mazzio’s newest project, TEN9EIGHT, a thought provoking film which tells the inspirational stories of several inner city teens (of differing race, religion and ethnicity) from Harlem to Compton and all points in between, as they compete in an annual business plan competition.
The film includes students such as:
Rodney Walker, age 19, Founder of Forever Life Music and Video Productions: Rodney was put into the foster care system at the age of 5 and ended up homeless on the streets of Chicago. Almost becoming a statistic like many of his brothers, Rodney was able to chart a new future – and is now studying business as a freshman at Morehouse College.
Amanda Loyola, age 16, Founder of Eco-Dog Biscuits: Amanda’s father escaped from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, finding a job at Burger King in Brooklyn, New York. He inspired his daughter, Amanda, to think that anything might be possible in America. Amanda started her business, a vegetarian dog treat company, after her dog, Princess, died from cancer.
Rodney and Amanda are but two of several remarkably resilient kids featured in this film, all of whom are facing the most challenging of circumstances in the inner city – making their achievements all the more remarkable.
The finals of this competition convenes 35 young entrepreneurs in New York City, chosen from over 24,000 students from across the country, winnowed down through a series of city and statewide business plan competitions held throughout the year. The winner receives $10,000 to launch his or her business – but more importantly, these finalists have the opportunity to interact with high profile entrepreneurs, including the likes of Arthur Blank (founder, Home Depot and owner of the Atlanta Falcons); Tom Scott (co- founder, Nantucket Nectars); Ralph Schlosstein (co-founder, BlackRock); Wyc Grousbeck (owner of the Celtics); and Kay Koplovitz (founder of USA Network). Although there can be only one winner, each student is empowered with the promise of a future they never thought possible.”
“Obama should arrange for this film to be shown in every classroom in America. It is the most inspirational, heart-warming film, you will ever see.”
Thomas Friedman, The New York Times
Ten 9 Eight Airs on BET February 12, 2010
a. What are students learning throughout the NFTE business plan competition, both personally and professionally?
b. Which story was most compelling to you, and why?
c. What additional thoughts do you have about the movie and/or the topic in general?
d. Do you have an idea for a product or service? What is it?
e. What challenges do you face in making the product or service happen? What is your plan to overcome them?
f. Who can you go to for advice on your product or service idea? Make a list of three people and approach them this month to describe your idea.
The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation is committed to educating young people about the critical role of small business and the American free enterprise system.
Entrepreneur In The Classroom. The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom (EITC) supplemental curriculum exposes students to entrepreneurship and the necessary steps to take an idea and turn it into a business. The free curriculum can be integrated into classes teaching a variety of subjects including music, art, fashion, business and many more. You must be registered to view the full Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom curriculum.
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Entry filed under: Business Planning, Young Entrepreneur. Tags: Amanda Loyola, Arthur Blank, BET, business plan contest, competition, Kay Koplovitz, NFTE, Ralph Schlosstein, Rodney Walker, Ten 9 Eight, Ten9Eight, Tom Scott, Wyc Grousbeck.