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High school entrepreneurs pitch their business plans


Dana Laurie presents her business plan for a natural cosmetics line.Photo by Carlos Varela/Courtesy National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship

We’ve written before about how important it is to get young people to consider entrepreneurship as a career path, particularly in low-income communities. The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship makes that happen. This week, the nonprofit foundation hosted 23 aspiring entrepreneurs from around the country at its 6th Youth Entrepreneurship Expo in New York, in partnership with the Goldman Sachs Foundation. The high school students have crafted their business plans over months of business camps and competitions.

One of the winners, Dana Laurie, is launching an organic cosmetics line called Purus Cosmetics. She already has a product demo and plans to turn it into a real business. Laurie hails from Bayside, Queens (where I used to be a local newspaper reporter, incidentally), and won for most innovative business idea, most promising concept, and best overall presentation and business plan.

This isn’t just feel-good stuff. One NFTE veteran, Jasmine Lawrence, has a thriving hair care line that’s sold in Wal-Mart. She started when she was 13; by last year, at age 17, Lawrence had sales over $1 million. She’s been a finalist for our Best Young Entrepreneurs two years running. So clearly, successful businesses can grow out of high school business plans.

More of NFTE’s winners after the jump.

Florian Koenigsberger, FloC: Urban graphic t-shirts

New York

Awards: Best Marketing Materials, Best Overall Communication, Best Sales Strategy, Best Elevator Pitch

Crystal Harper, Island Treats: Snacks with a Caribbean twist

Brooklyn, New York

Award: Best Competitive Advantage

Raquel Escobar and Irwin Tejeda, Realist Grocery Shopping: Grocery delivery Service

Brooklyn, New York and Bronx, New York

Award: Most Civic-Minded Business

Melanie Arroyo, Darius Grayer, Angel Howard, Daja Jones and Gloria Santos

Business: Tasty's, Healthy sweet treats for diabetics

Monroe, NJ; Kansas City, MO; Newark, NJ; and Los Angeles

Award: Best Booth Display


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