2021 Grants Challenge

Entrepreneurship in Every School

The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) activates the entrepreneurial mindset and builds start-up skills in youth from under-resourced communities to ensure their success and to create a more vibrant Los Angeles.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

East LA

San Fernando Valley


LAUSD (select only if you have a district-wide partnership or project)

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

With a focus on youth ages 11-18 from under-resourced communities, NFTE serves many students who live in communities plagued by poverty and related hardships, including crime, violence, substance abuse, and family instability. Some of our students are homeless or living in foster care, and for those students who do go on to college, many will be the first in their families. NFTE counters these challenges by providing students with new opportunities that give them skills, confidence, and know-how to recognize opportunities, develop talents, discover potential, and chart their own course. Entrepreneurship changes the way young people see their futures. And when that happens, they succeed personally, educationally, and professionally – and communities are stronger. Through the lens of entrepreneurship, NFTE brings relevancy to core academic subjects alongside business startup skills, helping students gain new knowledge, use their creativity and insights to develop unique ideas.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

As NFTE students, teachers, and staff continue to cope with an ongoing pandemic, deep inequities and a widening wealth gap threaten to divide us even more. Our nation faces a long overdue reckoning on systemic racism. NFTE finds hope in the fact that many in our country appear ready to face the deep-seated inequalities that have persisted for far too long and we are deeply committed to doing the work of equity. We are approaching this work through the lens of inclusive capitalism and we have seen the promise of this concept realized in young NFTE alumni who have achieved their goals of starting a business and creating jobs within their communities. By investing in their communities, these young entrepreneurs are providing sustainable opportunities that can create access to training, technical assistance, and financing. The overall impact of such examples of inclusive capitalism will help level the playing field across entire communities. NFTE is nurturing the next generation of diverse young entrepreneurs and building a world where all young people will have equitable access to economic opportunity. We believe diverse entrepreneurs can drive innovation and economic growth – and that lifts communities. When every young person can reach their full potential, families can build generational wealth, communities can thrive, and the country can build an economy that is both vibrant and inclusive.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 2,000

Indirect Impact: 20

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

This last year, NFTE LA engaged 6,321 students at 48 schools, partnering with 83 teachers throughout Los Angeles County. Our enduring commitment remains vital to addressing gaps and opening the doors of economic mobility to those who continue to be left out. NFTE can give students the tools, know-how, opportunities, and support to help them discover both who they want to become and how to achieve it. 86% of NFTE alumni are employed or actively engaged in furthering their education. 80% of NFTE alumni have earned or are earning a college degree or professional certification. 25% of NFTE alumni start at least one business and many go on to become serial entrepreneurs. 50% of NFTE alumni report that they are earning more than the median salary in the U.S. today. 97% of NFTE alumni have demonstrated their ability to create a business plan and/or lean canvas model. 74% have competed in a business plan competition at the local, regional, or national level.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Through this initiative, will track the following Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): • At least 90% of NFTE students will develop a business idea and pitch, demonstrating basic knowledge of business development skills; • At least 80% of NFTE students will participate in a pitch competition, demonstrating their entrepreneurial mindset skills; • At least 80% of students will participate in the Entrepreneurial Mindset assessment (using the Entrepreneurial Mindset Index). • Increased student engagement, ownership, and motivation (career and college aspirations) • Development of career-ready skills • Students are prepared for business startup, workforce, or continued education In addition, NFTE students are being prepared for an academic and industry-recognized credential, they will earn by passing Certiport’s Entrepreneurship and Small Business (ESB) exam. The ESB certification has been recognized by the American Council on Education for lower division (100-200 level) college credit.

Which of the CREATE metrics will you impact?​

Income inequality

Minority- and women-owned businesses

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

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