The National Federation of Independent Business Young Entrepreneur Foundation, in conjunction with George Washington University, has developed the Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom curriculum, which teaches students how to turn a hobby into a business and helps to raise awareness of the critical role that private enterprise and entrepreneurship play in America's economy.

Results of an NFIB/Visa USA survey indicate that while 90 percent of teachers and guidance counselors say their high students have expressed an interest in becoming their own boss, 75 percent think kids don't know where to turn for assistance.

The curriculum was created as a three-week supplemental course to fit into any classroom setting where a teacher wants to show his or her student how to transfer the skills learned in the classroom into a profitable business. The three modules all contain teaching notes, overheads, activities and puzzles:

  • Module One examines the definition of entrepreneurship and small business, while providing an overview of the past and present small-business environment.

  • Module Two looks at the steps and considerations involved with turning an idea into a business: identifying a passion or hobby that can provide a product or service, researching the market, and weighing the risks of starting a small business.

  • Module Three explores the nuts and bolts of starting a business: writing a business plan, obtaining funding, and learning about the agencies businesses interact with to become a legitimate entity.

Educators may download the supplement for free at Teachers unfamiliar with the business skills being taught by the program can request a mentor through the Take Time to Teach mentoring program, which matches a teacher with a local NFIB small-business owner to answer questions about entrepreneurship. Contact Julie Carney at 202/314-2042 for further information.

Young Entrepreneur Of The Year

In other news, NFIB and Visa USA presented the 2006 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award to 18-year-old Ashley Gunn of Brandon, Miss. She is the founder and chairman of Students Aiding Indigent Families (SAIF), a nonprofit organization that buys, renovates and sells abandoned homes to families in need, usually single mothers, at below-market value.

Gunn first thought of the idea after returning from a mission trip to Africa before entering the 7th grade. She was determined to help address the similar needs of poverty and despair in her Jackson, Miss., community.

On track to generate $100,000 in revenue this year, SAIF has been certified by the Mississippi Secretary of State and all proceeds from its home sales go toward providing college scholarships to deserving students in need.

Gunn was awarded a $10,000 educational scholarship to help defray her tuition costs at the University of Pennsylvania.