Thursday, April 12, 2012

Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship to Host 18th Annual ‘Dare to Dream’ Dinner, Bid on Chance to Win Power Meeting with Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs

Top business leaders participate in first annual ‘Dare to Dream’ Auction

In culmination of its year-long efforts of fostering the entrepreneurial spirit among under-privileged youth and laying the foundation for next generation’s small business owners, The Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) will celebrate its 18th Annual ‘Dare to Dream’ Awards Dinner on Wednesday, April 18th at the New York Marriott Marquis. Joined by Daymond John, star of ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ and Willie Geist, host of ‘Way Too Early’ and co-host of ‘Morning Joe,’ this year’s dinner will honor 33 outstanding teen entrepreneurs from 10 different nations, alongside their educators, for their hard work and dedication toward establishing their own businesses. Pictured is Nia Froome, first place winner of the 2010 Oppenheimer Funds/NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge and NFTE board member Diana Davis Spencer. 

Among the students being honored at the Gala is Andres Cardona, 18, of Miami, FL. An outstanding basketball player and facing tough times at home, Andres decided to create a job instead of looking for one. Recognizing his community lacked an affordable option for youth to hone their basketball skills, Andres established the South Miami Basketball Academy to reach less-privileged and troubled youth. Beyond just basketball skills, the academy focuses on each individual and stresses the importance that their work ethic in sports must carry over to academics in order to be successful.

Presented by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and MasterCard Worldwide, the Gala will also recognize Ernst & Young as well as Wes Moore and Joy Thomas Moore for their long-standing commitment to entrepreneurial education and support of NFTE.

Amy Rosen, president and CEO of NFTE, shared with BlackGivesBack how their organization works to close the achievement gap: “80% of high school dropouts report that they would stay in school if it seemed relevant to real life. So step one to closing the achievement gap is keeping students engaged in learning. NFTE’s entrepreneurship education program does that by linking math, reading and writing to a real life activity – earning money through building a business. All NFTE students build a business plan for an original concept of their own and through this process must apply math, reading and writing in a way that truly inspires them. NFTE helps close the achievement gap by keeping students in school, on the path to graduation and by showing them a world of opportunity through entrepreneurship.”

New this year is NFTE's Dare to Dream Auction presented by Charity Buzz, where highly successful entrepreneurs are offering coaching sessions to the highest bidder. Participating business moguls include:

• CEO/Founder of Bad Boy Entertainment Worldwide, Sean “Diddy” Combs
• Former CEO/Chairman and Founder of AOL, Steve Case
• Founder of BobbiBrown Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown
• FUBU Founder and SharkTank Star, Daymond John
• CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, Danny Meyer

Each entrepreneur is auctioning off an exclusive pitch meeting or power lunch to raise funds. The winning bidders will get the chance to hone their pitches and score tips from these business superstars while supporting NFTE entrepreneurship education programs in the United States.

The one-on-one power meetings are up for auction now through April 25th at Charitybuzz at:  To learn more about NFTE, visit