Posted: January 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

Roozt.com & NFTE Partner to Teach Social Entrepreneurship!

In Los Angeles, in Mr. Jaquias’ 10th grade class at Downtown Magnets High School, there are a group of 35 students that are out to change the world — through business. These elite students were specially selected to take part in the first ever Social Venture Competition where they will learn the fundamentals of starting their own business through the lens of a social entrepreneur that is committed to making a difference in the world as well as a profit. Pretty amazing feat for a group of 14 and 15 year olds!

When I founded Roozt.com, I wanted to do something that made a positive impact on the world and helped inspire others to do the same. So when I was introduced to the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), it was a match made in heaven. An established national organization that goes into low-income communities from all across the U.S. to teach entrepreneurship to youth, I saw an opportunity to harness their infrastructure, established programs, and inspiring student base to modify the curriculum to integrate social responsibility into the student’s everyday learnings and business models. The idea I proposed to the NFTE Chapter of Greater Los Angeles was simple: let’s make social responsibility a forethought instead of an afterthought. Let’s integrate it directly into everything that the students do, learn, and practice so that as they become entrepreneurs with their own companies or intrapreneurs within existing organizations, they will incorporate responsible business practices all along the way. The Executive Director of NFTE here in LA, Estelle Reyes, could not have been more excited and supportive of the idea and immediately we began the planning process.

The students spent the entire first semester of their year studying the basics of marketing, identifying opportunities in the market, learning how to develop a clear business concept, and going over the basic laws of supply and demand — all through the eyes of a social entrepreneur who is focused on people, planet, and profit.

Mr. Jaquias' 10th Grade NFTE Class at Downtown Magnets High School in Los Angeles with Roozt Founders Brent Freeman & Norma LaRosa (Center)

The second semester (which just began) is where it gets real exciting! We will be taking the students through a Social Venture Competition where they identify a problem in their community and develop a for-profit business model around helping solve it. Each student will write a business plan about their social venture, from concept statement to financial projections, then create a pitch to present to a panel of experienced social entrepreneurs and investors. To make this competition something real for the students, Roozt and its corporate partner, MyCorporation.com, have teamed up to create a Social Venture Launch Kit for the Grand Prize winner that will help eliminate some of the major barriers of entry to actually starting their business. This Launch Kit will include:

  1. Free LLC or Incorporation filing (including state fees)
  2. Corporate Name availibility check
  3. TAX ID Number for the business
  4. Business Consultation with a MyCorp & Roozt Business Professional
  5. Elite Corporate Kit and Seal (with customized documents & certificates)
  6. Free Logo Design
  7. Free Domain Name
  8. Free QuickBooks Simple Start
  9. Free Website
  10. Small Business Book Set
  11. Company & Product Feature on Roozt Website, Email, and Blog

The Launch Kit for the winner of the Social Venture Competition was designed to break down the barriers of entry the students to turn their business idea into a reality at the end of the semester, so we are very excited to see where this goes! The whole idea behind this entire program is to teach, inspire, and mentor the young social entrepreneurs of Downtown Magnets High School here in LA to make a difference in the world through business. To make this happen, I personally join Mr. Jaquias and his 10th grade class once a week to help teach the students the fundamentals of using business as a vehicle to make the world a better place. Each week will be a new challenge, new lesson, and new step forward.

We are extremely fired up to see what this upcoming semester holds, the ideas that the students come up with, and the social impact that they will make on their community.

Each week of this semester, I will chronicle a step of our journey in the DMHS Social Entrepreneur Pilot Program on the Roozt Blog, Roozt Twitter, Roozt Facebook, as well as the NFTE National blog for you to follow. We hope you enjoy reading about the amazing things these students are up to and that you become inspired by some of their incredible stories and ideas. I know I am. These students are the business leaders of tomorrow. These students are our future. I could not be more excited for what’s in store!

Enthusiastically,

Brent Freeman
Founder / CEO, Roozt.com

To learn more about NFTE, go to http://www.NFTE.com or donate directly by clicking here.

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