Inspirational Young Entrepreneurs – Part #1

February 5, 2010 at 11:35 am 9 comments

Ten9Eight Airs on BET February 7, 2010

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:

Gabe and Rodney. © 2009 50 EGGS FILMS. All Rights Reserved.

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. © 2009 50 EGGS FILMS. All Rights Reserved.

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


For educators and parents: Watch or record Ten, Nine, Eight Shoot for the Moon on BET, February 7 at noon (order film here). Answer the following questions and post your answers here:

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.

Follow NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation on Twitter

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Follow blog author Kathy Korman Frey on Twitter

Entry filed under: Business Planning, Young Entrepreneur. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. uberVU - social comments  |  February 5, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by chiefhotmomma: Kids that got it right-Inspirational Young Entrepreneurs Series-Part 1 [NFIB Young Entrepreneurs Foundation]…

  • 2. Maren Kate  |  February 6, 2010 at 12:01 am

    Awesome post, super inspirational for young entrepreneurs like me.


    • 3. kathykormanfrey  |  May 4, 2010 at 12:29 pm

      Aren’t they just great. I love it. Makes us feel like we CAN do it.

  • 4. Kimberly Johnson  |  February 7, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Very inspirational move to watch. I a mother of two college students. I plan to encourage them to watch the showing on Feb 12…… for inspiration….. and to see what other young people are doing.

    • 5. kathykormanfrey  |  May 4, 2010 at 12:28 pm

      That is great Kimberly – from generation to generation!

  • 6. Justin  |  February 8, 2010 at 11:59 am

    HI.. nice post… Did you ever heard about people make $1,000,000 on Niche blueprint 2.0? I get this site, and they said that many affiliate marketer have joined..
    please I need your suggestion about should I join this site?
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  • 7. Garrett Miller, Young Entrepreneur  |  February 21, 2010 at 1:03 am

    I’m really excited for this movie (sucks I missed the showing)… but I just ordered the DVD!


    • 8. kathykormanfrey  |  February 21, 2010 at 3:50 pm

      Great Garrett! I Tivoed mine.

  • 9. themotivationlocation  |  June 6, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    It is nice to hear and see some good news about our next generation when all we are is bombarded with the bad.
    There might be some hope for us yet. I hope all these kids succeed in a big way!


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