That’s NFTE: Award-Winning Teen Entrepreneurs Visit Oval Office

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Cross-posted from the White House blog.

That’s NFTE: Award-Winning Teen Entrepreneurs Visit Oval Office

President Barack Obama meets with the student finalists of the NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in the Oval Office. These students – four of who are still in high school – have all started new businesses and competed against 24,000 other young people in the competition.

President Obama is the first to recognize that not all good ideas come from adults, and that’s why for the second year in a row he offered his personal congratulations to the winners of a challenge organized by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).

NFTE organizes the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge and has for years helped young individuals from low-income communities unlock their potential for entrepreneurial creativity. In a show of his support for the youthful innovators of our Nation, President Obama—as he did for last year’s NFTE winners—welcomed the five young winners of this year’s competition to the White House for a meeting with him, where he not only congratulated them but also picked their innovative brains. View the full press release from NFTE here (pdf).

The five winners of the Challenge are:

  • Nia Froome, a 17-year-old student from Valley Stream, NY, who won the grand prize for her business, Mamma Nia’s Vegan Bakery. Inspired by her mother’s battle with breast cancer, she says she plans to donate a portion of her winnings to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, in addition to investing in her business and education.
  • Bosnian immigrants Zermina Velic and Belma Ahmetovic, from Hartford, CT, who took First Runner-Up for their computer services company, Beta Bytes.
  • Crystal Vo of San Jose, CA, who won Second Runner-Up for her cake ball company, Sweet Tooth Bites,
  • Steven Gordon of Brooklyn, NY, who won NFTE’s first Online Elevator Pitch Challenge for his business, TattooID.

Since NFTE began in 1987, more than 330,000 people have been part of the program, which has activities going on in 21 states and ten countries. 

Kudos to this year’s winners!