Student success BUILDs from a business plan competition

The statistics on the website BUILD.org are jaw-dropping:

  • 100% of BUILD graduates, all high school students in tough areas, go on to attend college.
  • 80% of them are the first in their families to attend college
  • 95% stay in college

BUILD is a 501(c)(3) organization that excites and educates youth in low-income and under-served communities about entrepreneurship. It provides education, mentorship, guidance activities, and high expectations.

And it all starts in ninth grade with a business plan competition where winners receive cash and become eligible for additional incubator services and funding.

In their sophomore year of high school, students begin actually operating their businesses out of BUILD’s Youth Business Incubator. The focus in junior year turns to college preparation. And in senior year it’s selecting and applying to colleges.

BUILD held its East Palo Alto/Peninsula area business plan competition earlier this month where 100 freshman in 24 teams were judged (see story here.) The Oakland and Washington DC competitions take place this Saturday, May 22.

BUILD’s tagline is “Planning a business, preparing for life.” They have been doing this since starting with 12 students in 1999. They now serve hundreds each year.

BUILD is an incredible organization. Check it out.

Photo credit: build.org

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Joe Hurley is a CPA, author of "The Best Way to Save for College - A Complete Guide to 529 Plans", founder of Savingforcollege.com, and co-founder of Bizplancompetitions.com. He has also recently started making maple syrup.
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