Each year, BREW Spotlight highlights three non-profit organizations with ties to Massachusetts that are supporting, educating, encouraging or growing local business while spreading the entrepreneurial spirit. We'll be hosting a special BREW event with our friends at Metropolis Creative on October 15, 2013 at Microsoft NERD where you find out how you can get involved with these great non-profits!!
2013 Spotlight Organizations
Founded in 1999, BUILD’s mission is to use entrepreneurship to excite and propel disengaged, low-income students through high school to college success. Our four-year high school program offers a unique blend of entrepreneurship, academics, and personal support that attracts and motivates many students who are otherwise at high risk of failing classes and dropping out of high school. Our students develop their own business ideas, write business plans, pitch to funders, and launch real businesses. This real-world business experience makes school relevant and motivates disengaged youth to succeed. To help them become college-eligible, students also receive tutoring, test prep, and academic advising for their school-work and college planning. Entrepreneurship is the hook, but college is the goal. In our 13 year history nationwide, 95% of BUILD seniors have been accepted to college, with over 80% attending four-year colleges and universities. http://www.build.org/boston
One Hen: Microfinance for Kids introduces a compelling social issue, around which we provide flexible curriculum resources, web-based activities and hands on projects. http://www.onehen.org
Raising A Reader Massachusetts
Raising A Reader MA is an evidence-based early literacy organization that helps families of young children (newborn through age 5) develop, practice, and maintain habits of reading with their young children at home. Our core program model, which both increases access to books and offers families tools and supports for strengthening the culture of reading at home, is driven by 25 years of research that show the most significant factor impacting a child’s academic success is being regularly read to by a parent or other primary adult caregiver before starting kindergarten. Our goal is to end the cycle of low literacy by helping families across Massachusetts develop high impact home reading routines that lay the groundwork for a lifetime of learning, success, and productive, responsible citizenship. http://raisingareaderma.org/
2012 Spotlight Alumni
Interise is an award-winning nonprofit organization that helps existing small business owners develop their companies. The entrepreneurs who work with us have the potential for growth; we help them get to the next level. Through our StreetWise ‘MBA’™, we give a diverse group of entrepreneurs an opportunity to hone their management skills and make the right connections—because when small business thrives, communities benefit.
"The program was a game changer for my company as well as those of my peers in the class. Each of us gained a wealth of knowledge and information to help us better manage our companies and plan for future growth. On the last day of the class we were broken into four groups to make a final presentation of our strategic growth plans. The plans presented in my group of 4 small businesses had projected over 500 new jobs over the next three years. THAT’s the ultimate success of this program!"
-Testimonial from an Interise participant
Since its founding in 1987, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) has grown from a drop-out prevention program in one New York City high school classroom into a comprehensive global youth development program. As the world leader in youth entrepreneurship, with programs throughout the U.S. and 10 foreign countries, NFTE provides entrepreneurship education programs relevant to the real world, empowering students to own their educations in and out of the classroom. Hundreds of thousands of low-income students have discovered entrepreneurship opportunities via thousands of NFTE certified educators worldwide. NFTE sows the seeds of innovation to inspire youth from low-income communities to stay in school, to recognize business opportunities, to unlock their economic potential and to plan for successful futures. Our vision is that all young people can find their path to success.
"The president should also vow to bring the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, or NFTE, to every low- income neighborhood in America"
- Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times
The Merrimack Valley Sandbox aims to connect and strengthen the ecosystem in Lowell and Lawrence around entrepreneurship and leadership. The Sandbox uses a multitude of ways to fulfill their goals, from holding events to connect the communities, spreading the entrepreneurial mindset via awarding grants to teens and college students for their entrepreneurial ideas, strengthening social responsibility leadership, and boosting the success of area start-ups though pitch contests, workshops and intensive programs. The Sandbox's long term goal is to boost successful startups, increase economic opportunity, and improve the quality of life in the region.
"The Merrimack Valley Sandbox is building a community innovation ecosystem with entrepreneurs and leaders in Lowell and Lawrence. Come play in the Sandbox!"
-Todd Fry-Executive Director, Merrimack Valley Sandbox