Would you recommend Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)?
As a business plan coach, having the students grasp a difficult concept such as ROI is highly rewarding. That ‘aha!’ moment that you can see on their faces and the excitement they get as they try to explain the concept to other students lets you know that you are making a difference.
Volunteering as a Business Coach with NFTE allows you to partner with students in the process of the creation and refinement of a business plan, starting with a blank sheet of paper. Working in small teams, you can make a very real impact in helping students craft and refine their business plans. The greatest reward comes at the end of the program, as students you have worked with for months (who are now friends) present their final business plans, which have improved so much from day one.
Volunteering as a Business Competition Judge with NFTE is a great way to contribute to the program, even if you don't have a lot of time. Every time I judge I truly enjoy the process, and I am always amazed at the preparation, poise, and creativity of the NFTE students. Furthermore, you can really help students by looking at their business plans from your unique perspective, providing insights that will be helpful as these students go on to further rounds of competition or consider new ideas.
I walked away from my first experience in a NFTE classroom knowing that the hour I shared with these students would make a difference. The limited time that I could volunteer felt small, almost insignificant, but seeing those young eyes light up with possibility made me realize that the change I was helping to create was huge. Thank you NFTE for this opportunity.
I would highly recommend this volunteer opportunity to anyone interested in mentoring youth entrepreneurs. The management and administration of volunteers by the NFTE Volunteer Coordinator is exemplary. The business communication I receive from NFTE is always succinct and professional. The details of each assignment and expectations are spelled out clearly. And the acknowledgment and gratitude expressed to me by the NFTE staff, teachers and students are consistent and heartfelt. There are opportunities for a one-time volunteer "gig" or an ongoing committment at several NFTE schools throughout greater Los Angeles.
Judging these entrepreneurship events is like going back to school and seeing the students' undiluted desire to get something done. It helps them to have an outsider opinion and thats why you are chosen. But for you, it does more. It gives you a chance to connect to today's young idea masters, see what makes them think the way they do, share their enthusiasm and become, even if for a day, someone who knows no constraints, issues or shortcomings. It will take you back to your work recharged, energized and full of hope. Everyone MUST try this. And if you want to know how it helped the teachers and students, just wait till you get a personally signed Thank you Card in the mail barely a week after the event. There is no sweeter thing than volunteering once in a while and this opportunity is one to queue up for.