Page 1: Introduction
Many people dream of owning their own business and being their own boss, but most hesitate to take the plunge. Like them, you may worry that you don't have enough money, time, or experience to operate your own small business.
Michelle Araujo insists there is always time, as a single mother and full-time college student. Michelle should know, because at 19 she started her own business while attending college and caring for Angela, 3, Erica, 18 months and newborn son, Kristian. Before starting her clothing re-sale company, A La Mode Fashions, Michelle knew nothing about business and had little money. Today, she's a successful entrepreneur and a prime example of a young American who has benefited from the good work of NFTE.
NFTE (pronounced 'nifty') is the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship. It is an international, non-profit charitable organisation which introduces low-income teenagers to entrepreneurship, teaching them to develop and run their own small businesses. The initiative has been made possible by the support of large organisations and individuals who seek to build a better, more caring community.
NFTE students learn to set up and run their own enterprises. They have role models like Michelle, Bill Gates of Microsoft who tried his first business at 13 and founded Microsoft at the age of 19 and Berry Gordy. Raised in a tough Detroit ghetto, Berry set up the Motown Record Company, which discovered artists such as Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. Michelle, Bill Gates and Berry Gordy are all entrepreneurs who have created successful businesses. Whether small businesses or harvest/fast growth enterprises - each is valuable to merging creative interests and passions with financial reward for the entrepreneur, co-workers and the community.
This case study shows how many young people in the United States have been encouraged to improve their numeracy, literacy and communication skills by learning through ‘enterprise’. NFTE is a world leader in the field of youth entrepreneurship with its UK headquarters based at Regents College, Regents Park, London.