Young Entrepreneurs

Feb 6, 2014 10:39 ET

SBA Hosts Twitter Chat for Young Entrepreneurs

WASHINGTONFeb. 6, 2014 Young aspiring business owners are invited to learn the basics on how to turn good ideas into profitable ventures at the live Twitter chat on Feb. 19 hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration (@SBAgov).

Tameka Montgomery from SBA's Office of Entrepreneurial Development and Bridget Weston Pollack from SBA's resource partner SCORE will share tips on developing a business plan, ways to get startup financing, and how to overcome those initial hurdles entrepreneurs face when starting out.

The event will be held during National Entrepreneurship Week, Feb. 15-22 (#sbaEweek). 

Small business owners Dan Price, co-Founder and CEO of Gravity Payments (@DanPriceSeattle) andGenevieve F. Thiers, CEO and Founder of (@genevievethiers) will share their stories of creating a successful company.  Price and Thiers are former SBA National Young Entrepreneur award winners.

WHAT:           SBA Twitter Chat:  Startup Advice Young Entrepreneurs Love
WHEN:           Wednesday, Feb. 193 p.m. — 4 p.m. EST 
HOW:             Hashtag:  #sbaEweek
                      No registration is needed, but you must have a Twitter Account

Meanwhile, do you think you're ready to start a business?  Check out the free SBA online course for young entrepreneurs at It will help you understand the steps you need to get started on building a successful business.

SOURCE U.S. Small Business Administration

Web Site:



Feb 5, 2014 11:00 ET

T.D. Jakes Joins BLACK ENTERPRISE As Entrepreneurs Conference Returns To Columbus, OH May 14-17

Hundreds of Entrepreneurs, Business Experts and Aspiring Business Owners to Gather at 2014 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo

NEW YORKFeb. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ —  BLACK ENTERPRISE will hold its 2014 Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by Nationwide Insurance on Wednesday, May 14 through Saturday, May 17, at the Hyatt Regency Columbus in Columbus, Ohio, with a powerhouse line-up of some of the nation's most accomplished and celebrated entrepreneurs.

Driving the excitement and anticipation of this year's conference is news that T.D. Jakes Enterprises CEOT.D. Jakes will serve as the featured headliner at the Black Enterprise Small Business Awards Luncheon. Bishop Jakes will also hold a major book signing event for his highly anticipated book Instinct: Unleashing Your Natural Drive for Ultimate Success, in the Deal Makers Expo. Bishop T.D. Jakes is world-renown as a spiritual leader, as CEO of Potter's House Ministries, and is also an accomplished entrepreneur of T.D. Jakes Enterprises – which has successfully engaged in businesses ranging from publishing and live events to film and television production. He is the first of several internationally recognized business leaders announced as headliners for this year's conference.

This marks the second year that the three-day power conference, which annually brings together more than 1,200 of the country's leading entrepreneurs and corporate executives, will be held in Columbus. The Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo (BEEC) is designed to provide attendees with the latest and most innovative strategies from today's top business minds. The conference will also provide high-powered networking opportunities that are critical to attendees' efforts to take their businesses from successful launch to growth and profitability. Business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs will gain insight about business plan development and start-up planning as well as tactical growth and investment strategies.

"Nationwide is proud to sponsor this year's conference because we share Black Enterprise's commitment for empowering minority businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the country," said Matt Jauchius, Nationwide Chief Marketing Officer. "We are pleased to work with Black Enterprise and the City of Columbus to bring this exciting event to our hometown for the second consecutive year. I am confident that participants will have a great experience, and will walk away with valuable resources and networks to support their continued business endeavors."

"It is with great enthusiasm that we bring the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference back toColumbus, Ohio, for the second consecutive year," says Black Enterprise CEO Earl "Butch" Graves, Jr. "Working in partnership with host sponsor Nationwide, Mayor Michael Coleman and the business communities of Columbus and the state of Ohio, the Entrepreneurs Conference enjoyed significant success last year. We look forward to working with Nationwide and our other event sponsors and partners to deliver an even more impactful conference for entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners from across the nation and around the world in 2014."

The conference will take place in the heart of downtown Columbus located in close proximity to a wide variety of locally owned eateries, theaters, and retail shops. The Columbus Convention Center, which will host the Deal Makers Expo, is situated in the center of the city's Discovery District, Short North Arts District, Arena District and the historic African-American neighborhood, the King-Lincoln district.

"Columbus is proud to welcome the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference to our thriving city for the second consecutive year," said Mayor Michael B. Coleman. "Once again we're looking forward to sharing our community's greatest assets including restaurants, shops, and nightlife throughout the city with conference attendees and visitors."

For updates, follow BLACK ENTERPRISE Entrepreneurs Conference page on Facebook and search the #BEEC2014 hash tag on Twitter 

About Nationwide                                                
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor's. The company provides customers a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, pet, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and specialty health services. For more information, visit is the leading website for Money, Small Business and Career development. Providing executive and entrepreneurial resources, information, and profiles on the topics of money management, employment, career and start-up development, features expert resource articles, original video packages, and blogs, customized to empower its niche audience while consistently providing universal resource-value.

black enterpriseyour ultimate source to build Wealth for Life, is the premier business, investing, and wealth-building resource for African Americans. Since 1970, be has provided essential business information and advice to professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers. Every month, black enterprise magazine provides 4 million readers with information on entrepreneurship, careers, and financial management. A multimedia company, be also produces television programming, business and lifestyle events, Web content, and digital media. Visit for more information.


Web Site:


Jan 16, 2014 14:01 ET

Operation HOPE Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Operation HOPE)

Gallup and Operation HOPE Partnership Issues Findings for 2013 Gallup-HOPE Index

Survey reveals that minorities and younger students are more entrepreneurially inclined, and o verall four in 10 U.S. students express plans to start a business

LOS ANGELESJan. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Global financial dignity leader, Operation HOPE announced today highlights from the 2013 Gallup-HOPE Index (GHI), a joint project focused on encouraging entrepreneurial development among youth and measuring their economic energy. The findings show that almost half of all racial and ethnic minority students say they plan to start their own business, while older students were found less likely than younger ones to have entrepreneurial intentions.  (Read the full study here.)

The results are based on a telephone survey conducted October 18-30, 2013 with a nationally representative sample of 1,009 U.S. students in grades 5-12. (Video Exclusive: Executive Director for Gallup Education, Brandon Busteed explains survey.)

"Each year the findings from the Gallup-HOPE Index help us to identify gaps in the entrepreneurial attitudes of America's youth, and provide solutions," said John Hope Bryant founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE. "Through our project, we aim to better guide our youth on how to turn aspiration, to perspiration, to success. By fostering entrepreneurship in students today, we are creating better opportunity for more jobs tomorrow – the root of a healthy economy."

Overall, four in 10 U.S. students express plans to start a business. Slightly fewer (38%) say they will invent "something that changes the world." The interest from students to "start their own business" has dropped from 45% in 2011 to 42% in 2013. Their belief that they will 'invent something world-changing' also declined in 2013 to 38% after holding steady in 2011 and 2012 at 42%. (Gallup Economy news 1-13-2013.)

Initiated in 2011, the GHI is part of Gallup's 100 year commitment with Operation HOPE to assess the attitudes and behaviors often ascribed to entrepreneurs and to provide government and business leaders with data about student sentiment nationwide. The study aims to inform educational programs and become a resource to help students become meaningful participants in the nation's economy. 

"Gallup's partnership with Operation HOPE is a significant collaboration focused on increasing our understanding of the entrepreneurial energy among America's youth, and further highlights the need for our nation to nurture 'cultures of entrepreneurship' that positively affect future GDP and Job Growth," said Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of Gallup.

About Gallup 
Gallup delivers forward-thinking research, analytics, and advice to help leaders solve their most pressing problems. Combining more than 75 years of experience with its global reach, Gallup knows more about the attitudes and behaviors of the world's constituents, employees, and customers than any other organization. Gallup experts work with leaders in education to hire and develop talented educators, identify the strengths of each individual student, and create engaging learning environments — fostering long-term student success in the classroom and in future careers. The best educators know that for students to achieve meaningful, lasting success in the classroom and beyond, they must be emotionally engaged in the educational experience. This means educators must focus on students' hope, engagement, and well-being — the predictors Gallup has discovered matter the most. Measuring and moving the needle on these outcomes transforms educational institutions into places where students — and educators — thrive. For more information, visit, follow @GallupEducation, or To learn more, visit

About Operation HOPE 
Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Los Angeles, Operation HOPE promotes financial dignity through financial literacy and education tools to underserved communities. Through its four core portfolios, the organization has provided youth and adult financial literacy, economic preparedness, digital empowerment, promoted home ownership, and assisted with foreclosure prevention to more than 2 million individuals, families, and small business owners. HOPE's next phase will be focused on Project 5117, a multi-year initiative that will track and increase business role models for youth, boost credit scores for adults, and empower underserved communities. To learn how you can join Project 5117, go or visit to learn more.



Jan 9, 2014 10:07 ET

Hershey Business-Readiness Program Wins National Award

HERSHEY, Pa.Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — A program that prepares students for the corporate world gained national attention from the Association for Career and Technical Education. The Hershey Honors Authentic Business Management Program, which is a collaboration between Milton Hershey School® (MHS) and The Hershey Company, won the award for Outstanding Business/Education Partnership,Pennsylvania.

"Our program offers high school students access to a world-class company," said Robert Kemmery, Director of Career Technical Education at MHS. "The knowledge they gain might take years for a corporate employee to achieve."

During the course, students learn from 40 different Hershey employees. These "subject matter experts," are business leaders in a Fortune 500 company, teaching students about the many challenges and opportunities they face.     

"The modern business world is incredibly dynamic," said Todd Camp, Senior Director of CSR and Community Relations at Hershey. "We are proactively preparing the next generation to join our fast-paced, increasingly global workforce. Ultimately, we are cultivating the skills now that will lead to future success."  

The program incorporates state-of-the-art technology. "Live binders" used in the course are digital textbooks filled with videos, documents and activities, and students maintain access to them after graduation. The classroom is completely paperless.

"The program is incredible," said senior Kayvon Asemani. "I am interested in starting my own corporation someday, and this program is helping me with this goal because it teaches every aspect of a company. I am becoming increasingly confident in my ability to pursue my business aspirations."

Participating students are part of the Business/Financial Management and Accounting career pathway through MHS's Career/Technology Education (CTE) program. CTE offers 11 vocational options to prepare students for college and career. 

This is the second national honor MHS's CTE program received in 2013. In November, the Graphic Communication Technologies program earned the 2013 Frederick D. Kagy Education Award of Excellence.

Milton Hershey School is a cost-free, private, coeducational home and school for children from families of low income. The school is funded by a trust established by Milton S. and Catherine Hershey. MHS offers a positive, structured home life year-round and an excellent pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade education. Our vision focuses on building character and providing children with the skills necessary to be successful in all aspects of life. Learn more at


Jan 9, 2014 09:15 ET

"Dream It. Code It. Win It." Programming Competition Launches

TradingScreen, MIT Club of New York, MIT Enterprise Forum NYC, and NYCPromise Launch $50,000 Contest to Promote Programmer Creativity, Diversity, and Literacy

NEW YORK, Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — TradingScreen Inc. (TradingScreen), The MIT Club of New York, The MIT Enterprise Forum of NYC, and NYCPromise are proud to announce the launch of "Dream it. Code it. Win it.," a competition for student programmers. Dream It. Code It Win It. will award more than$50,000 in committed scholarships and other prizes to students 18 years or older, and enrolled at accredited institutions.

Dream It. Code It Win It. is designed to promote creativity, diversity, and literacy in the computer sciencefield among college students. Competition submissions will be judged by successful computer scientists, entrepreneurs and investors, including Mike Perlis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Forbes Media.

"'Programming has nearly limitless potential to transform our world, helping us solve problems, create new opportunities, and explore new boundaries," said TradingScreen CEO Philippe Buhannic. "Coders hold the key to this transformation, and it's critical for all of us to support young programmers to develop their skills, and help make this potential a reality. Dream It. Code It. Win It. helps recognize emerging talent, and shows others how exciting and creative coding can be."

Although there are many variations on hack-a-thons, Dream it. Code it. Win it. was launched to celebrate and reward computer science as a creative tool, and not just as a coding exercise. This approach is meant to help encourage people of all backgrounds and genders to participate, particularly women, who make up just 23 percent of STEM workers, versus 48 percent of the total workforce, according to the National Math and Science Initiative.

"When we designed Dream It. Code It. Win It., the idea was to move beyond the traditional hack-a-thon format, giving contestants greater flexibility in the types of problems that they would solve using their own programming skills," said Cristina Dolan, a board member of the MIT Enterprise Forum and an officer of the MIT Club of New York. "The orientation of this contest is towards greater creativity and diversity, making it more of a create-a-thon. This orientation is critical, to integrate new people, perspectives and skill sets that seem underrepresented in programming at the moment."

The selection of semi-finalists takes place over a period of three months through social media voting and a committee of judges. At the final, live event in New York City, the selected semi-finalists will present their creations before the judging panel.

"New York City has become one of the great technology capitals of the world. To maintain that primacy, the city needs to continually invest in education in STEM, to ensure that there are enough graduates to fill the ever-increasing demand for talent," said Dr. Harold K Goldstein, CEO of NYCPromise. "Dream It. Code It. Win It. increases both the depth of the technology talent pool in NYC and its breadth, by encouraging participation by a more diverse group of student programmers."

To enter and for full details, go to


Nov 5, 2013 07:00 ET

THE TOMS MARKETPLACE LAUNCHES AT TOMS.COM. One for One(R) Company Curates, Sells and Promotes Over 200 Products from 30 Different Companies That Incorporate Giving Into Their Business Models. (PRNewsFoto/TOMS)

The TOMS Marketplace Launches At

One for One® Company Curates, Sells and Promotes Over 200 Products from 30 Different Companies That Incorporate Giving Into Their Business Models

LOS ANGELESNov. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — In a bold and unexpected move that underscores its role as a leader in social innovation, TOMS today launched the TOMS Marketplace, a new online retail destination hosted on that features a curated collection of 200 socially conscious products from 30 different companies.  Featured at for customers in the U.S., each of the TOMS Marketplace partner brands has a meaningful story and shares TOMS' deep commitment to giving to those in need, spanning a wide range of causes and geographic areas of impact.

"The TOMS Marketplace represents something that is bigger than us," said Blake Mycoskie, Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS.  "We believe social entrepreneurship is a movement that is here to stay, and the TOMS Marketplace is our way of bringing awareness to so many amazing companies, causes and products.  For the past few years, I have been humbled by the number of social entrepreneurs who have been inspired by the TOMS business model. In fact, it wasn't too long ago that I found myself in a similar position.  So I thought, 'What can we do to help support these companies?' The TOMS Marketplace is the result."

By bringing together such a diverse collection of social entrepreneurs at various stages of their business, the TOMS Marketplace presents a wide assortment of products across an array of lifestyle categories, from accessories, apparel and bags to home goods, jewelry, sports equipment, tech and more.  Prices range from $5 to $500 for products that have never been available at until today. 

For the most part, the TOMS Marketplace highlights early-stage companies and their causes, each of whom were thoroughly vetted by TOMS' Giving department to make sure their ability to deliver on their mission statements is of the highest standard.  Some more recognizable than others – yet all respected for their work – the companies and causes that make up the debut TOMS Marketplace collection include:

  • 31 Bits
  • Apolis
  • Badala
  • charity: water
  • Cleobella
  • Della
  • Denik
  • Falling Whistles
  • Fortuned Culture
  • From You With Love
  • Harper Belle Jewelry
  • JADEtribe
  • JOYN
  • Krochet Kids intl.
  • Lemlem
  • LSTN
  • Movember
  • One World Futbol Project
  • Out of Print
  • Rose + Fitzgerald
  • Same Sky
  • Stone + Cloth
  • Sword & Plough
  • Tegu
  • The Base Project
  • The Giving Keys
  • The Honest Company
  • Yellow Leaf Hammocks

"The social entrepreneurship movement is made up of a lot of like-minded individuals, and in many ways it's a fraternity of people who want to do business differently," added Mycoskie. "I've been a part of this network for years and have recognized many organizations that have very interesting ideas and businesses that can scale.  Many of these have found a place in the TOMS Marketplace."

TOMS' innovation does not stop at the TOMS Marketplace.  The company recently announced that through its Giving Partners it has hand-placed over 10 million pairs of new shoes on children in need and has helped give sight to more than 175,000 people around the world.  The success of TOMS' One for One® business model has led to a continued evolution of its Giving efforts, with the company having made major investments in its shoe manufacturing, economic empowerment, commissioned field research, and product partnerships that have raised millions of dollars for non-profit organizations.  The TOMS Marketplace is the latest such investment from TOMS.

"We're so excited to utilize, share and leverage TOMS' platforms, our resources and our marketing to assist our TOMS Marketplace partners to help give to those in need," added Mycoskie.  "We believe our customers – and even those who aren't necessarily customers – trust the TOMS brand and what we stand for.  They are coming to our website because they want to buy or give a gift that gives back, and with the TOMS Marketplace, they will have a much greater selection of choices, all in one place."

About TOMS:

In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in a village in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One.®  Since then, TOMS has given over 10 million pairs of new shoes to children in need.

Five years later, TOMS realized this movement could serve other basic needs and launched TOMS Eyewear. With every pair purchased, TOMS will help give sight to a person in need. One for One.®  Since launching, TOMS has helped save or restore the sight of more than 175,000 people worldwide.


 Sep 30, 2013 11:35 ET

Skoll Foundation and The Huffington Post Launch First Crowdfunding Challenge for Social Entrepreneurs

Up to $1 million in prize funding on Edward Norton's CrowdRise

PALO ALTO, Calif.Sept. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The Skoll Foundation, in partnership with The Huffington Post, is launching its first crowdfunding challenge designed to provide some of the world's leading social entrepreneurs with an innovative platform to raise funds.

The "Skoll Social Entrepreneurs Challenge," hosted on Edward Norton's platform CrowdRise, has the potential to leverage up to $1 million in prize funding from the Skoll Foundation, including $250,000 in dedicated prize money through daily and weekly challenges and up to $750,000 in additional matching funds to be shared by all participants as fundraising thresholds are reached during the campaign.

The prize funding will go to the groups that raise the most through the Challenge. The top fundraising organization will receive $50,000; the runner-up will receive $40,000; and the organizations in third place through fifth place will receive $30,000$20,000 and $10,000 respectively. Plus, an additional $100,000 in bonus prizing will be awarded throughout the Challenge.

Organizations participating in the Challenge are recipients of the "Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship" and represent some of the most successful entrepreneurial organizations in the world. Working on the frontlines, social entrepreneurs fight disease, poverty, and injustice with their innovative approaches, proving that health care, education, and basic needs can be delivered efficiently and equitably, that sustainability trumps depletion, and that large-scale impact is possible.

"This Challenge gives individual donors the opportunity to support high-impact social entrepreneurs working in countries around the world through a healthy dose of competition that still promises to reward all participants," said Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation. "We're pleased to provide funding that will not only leverage donor gifts but also deliver an important capacity building exercise in crowdfunding, which is a critical tool for social entrepreneurs who want to maximize their impact."

"Usually when people think of how smart non-profit organizations get funded they assume that most of the money comes from foundations and major philanthropists and that a smaller percentage comes from grassroots efforts," said actor and CrowdRise co-founder Edward Norton. "What CrowdRise Challenges have clearly demonstrated is that we can flip the equation. The smart use of networking technology and smart game-theory can take funds from major philanthropists like our friends at the Skoll Foundation, and use these funds to activate the power of crowdfunding and leverage the initial donation 8x, 10x, even 13x. We think this is really exciting."

"Our partnership with CrowdRise on the JobRaising Challenge raised more than $1.2 million to help put Americans back to work, a demonstration of just how powerful a tool crowdfunding can be for raising money, raising awareness, and inspiring others around the issues that matter most," said Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group. "So we are really excited to be collaborating with CrowdRise again for the Skoll Social Entrepreneurs Challenge, to further empower the boldest and most creative social entrepreneurs already at work solving our biggest problems, and at the same time inviting them to tell their stories on HuffPost's platform."

The Skoll Foundation has used crowdfunding to support important social issues twice before. In March, the Skoll Foundation and The Huffington Post committed $250,000 in prize donations for the "Job Raising Challenge" to leverage more than $1.2 million in donations for domestic job-creating nonprofits. In June, the Foundation and Huffington Post committed $75,000 in prize donations for the "RaiseForWomen Challenge," which raised more than $1 million in donations for women's causes.

The Skoll Social Entrepreneur Challenge will run from September 30 through November 22. For more information and to donate, go to

About Skoll Foundation

Jeff Skoll established The Skoll Foundation in 1999 to drive large-scale change by connecting, celebrating, and investing in social entrepreneurs and the innovators who help them solve the world's most pressing problems. Social entrepreneurs are society's change agents-creators of innovations that disrupt the status quo and transform our world for the better. By identifying the people and programs already enacting positive change throughout the world, the Foundation empowers them to extend their reach, deepen their impact, and fundamentally improve society.

The Foundation is a leader in social entrepreneurship and has awarded more than $358 million to nearly 100 social entrepreneurs and organizations across the globe. The Foundation also funds program-related and mission-aligned investments. To build public awareness of social entrepreneurship and innovative solutions, the Foundation partners with leading film and broadcast organizations such as PBS and the Sundance Institute to tell compelling stories of impact.

About CrowdRise

CrowdRise is a crowd-funding platform for people and organizations to raise support for charitable causes. CrowdRise's core principles are that people have unprecedented power to use the power of networks to leverage their personal capacity and that raising money for charity and giving back should be fun. CrowdRise's custom-built platform and game theory, as well as the company's proven record of designing innovative crowd-funding strategies, provide individual fundraisers, charities, and events with powerful tools to raise the most money for their causes and share compelling philanthropic stories with their personal networks. The site lets anyone turn their friends into an active base of donors for any cause and lets any organization, company, or event unlock untapped leverage out of their existing platform.

CrowdRise topped Mashable's list of "Most Innovative Crowdfunding Platforms" and was named a "Top 25 Best Global Philanthropist" by Barron's. CrowdRise was founded by actor and activist Edward Norton, producer Shauna Robertson, and the founders of Moosejaw, Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe. Thousands of charitable organizations, events, celebrities, and everyday donors have made CrowdRise their philanthropic base for giving back.

SOURCE The Skoll Foundation