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Miami Schools Teach Entrepreneurship

National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship Funds Programs in Miami Schools

This summer, 126 students from Miami Schools entered a six-week training session and contest to learn about entrepreneurship. Funded and run by the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, the six week summer session will teach the students how to create a business plan, how to secure start up funds and then how to pitch the idea to real business people. The twelve best plans will compete in the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship Macy’s 2006 Business Plan Competition. Only one winner will represent Florida in New York in October with a chance to win ,000.

The Miami Schools system has some of the highest dropout rates in the state of Florida. One of the principal reasons for this may be that students a bored and do not see how their school work relates to the real world. The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship contest shows how owning a business relates to math and reading skills. This gives a meaning and a relevance to education. A study by the Harvard Graduate School of Education found that students exposed to entrepreneurship classes are more interested in education, are more likely to go to college and more likely to engage in independent reading than their peers.

New National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship Programs in the Miami Schools

The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship will, over the next two years, establish programs in 20 Miami Schools resulting in the program being accessible by nearly 3,400 middle and high school students. Some schools will offer more than just the summer contest but integrated into the curriculum. A Miami business lawyer and one of the judges who helped pick the finalists, stressed issues pertaining to the insurance and salary of the employees. This is the same issues that he would address with actual entrepreneurs. Several of the students from Miami Schools in the program have attempted to actually start a company. One student in the contest, Steve Rodriguez, has created X-Paks, a company that sells drawstring backpacks that can be produced in the shape and color the client wants. The sixteen year old is an aspiring engineer that wants to go on to MIT. He hopes that word of mouth marketing will lead his company to success. His partner is his mother who does the sewing and shares in half the profits.

Another student in the competition, Elise Lorenzo, has created a plan for a company call Envision Art. This high school sophomore’s company plan, based around creating an online art gallery, won points with the judges for her creative use of an S Corporation structure, which will allow her to reflect company profits on her personal tax returns.

National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship

National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship was founded in 1987. National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship was started by a businessman and former teacher, Steve Mariotti. National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship Miami Schools program aims to prevent dropout and improve academic performance among students who were at risk of failing or quitting school. Mr. Mariotti used his knowledge of business to help him to connect to his low-income students by giving them the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship, their innate “street smarts” can easily develop into “academic smarts” and “business smarts.” Through entrepreneurship, youth discover that what they are learning in the classroom is relevant to the real world.


About the Author: Stacy Andell is a staff writer for Schools K-12, providing free, in-depth reports on all U.S. public and private K-12 schools. Stacy has a nose for research and writes stimulating news and views on school issues. For more on Miami schools visit http://www.schoolsk-12.com/Florida/Miami/index.html




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