When Entrepreneurship Education Consultant Jennifer Donald kept hearing encouragement from her clients to offer similar services to kids and teens, it felt like a sign.
“I was conducting workshops and teaching people how to write a business plan, brand their business, apply for grants, and put together business proposals,” she explains. “They kept saying, ‘it would be awesome if you could teach this to kids’. I kept hearing it and it felt like confirmation that we should do it. Young people don’t have to wait until they are older to understand entrepreneurship.”
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Soon, Teenpreneur Foundation, Inc. was formed and began working to equip and empower teens with real world skills through entrepreneurial and technological training. With expert guidance in developing a strong business plan, website creation, marketing, managing time, and managing finances, Donald and her team help teens create their own business from concept to final product or service.
Teenpreneur Foundation, Inc. is one of nine local nonprofits being recognized by the Beatitude Foundation and GiveTLH, a community effort underwritten by philanthropist and businessman Rick Kearney. Each organization’s story will be shared in the Democrat, along with information about how you can help. Visit tallahassee.com/givetlh to learn more.
Operating as an after school program and summer camp, Teenpreneur serves kids between the ages of 7 and 19, and currently has approximately 50 kids enrolled.
Participants come from all backgrounds including underserved neighborhoods, says founder Donald. “We provide transportation and meals, and have a food pantry in partnership with Freedom Church which partners with Second Harvest,” she said.
The Teenpreneur Summer Camp introduces participants to local business leaders and professionals who teach and mentor around business and life skills. “Plenty of kids have great business ideas, so we help by answering questions like what is a business plan, what does branding really mean, how do I use social media with a purpose,” says Donald.
Currently, Teenpreneur operates from Freedom Church on Thomasville Road, and Teenpreneur Foundation intends to purchase the building when the church relocates to its new home. Three paid staff and about 15 volunteers are responsible for the day-to-day operations, including managing the programs, bookkeeping, social media, and fundraising.
Donald’s degrees in Business Administration and Marketing from Florida A&M University’s School of Business and Industry, participation in the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship Small Business Executive Program, and extensive experience teaching the Junior Achievement “Be Entrepreneurial” program in Leon County Schools, provides a strong foundation for the organization, and she is thankful to the congregation of Freedom Church for gifts of time and talent.
GiveTLH honorees each receive a $1,000 grant from the Beatitude Foundation and a 12-month membership to United Partners for Human Services. After reader voting in November, the top three organizations will also receive grants in the amounts of $2,500, $5,000, and $10,000, respectively and a free registration and exhibitor booth space for the United Partners for Human Services Annual Conference. The first place winning organization will also receive $5,000 in services from BowStern Marketing.
Teenpreneur Foundation envisions using grant funds to purchase a second van for transportation, expand the number of kids they can serve, and work towards purchasing their facility. “We can do so much more,” says Donald with confidence. Learn more at teenpreneurfoundation.org.
The #GiveTLH series will culminate in November with a chance for Tallahassee readers to vote for their favorite profiled nonprofit. The stories will be compiled on give.tallahassee.com.
#GiveTLH, underwritten by the Beatitude Foundation and Rick Kearney, is a look at nine nonprofits in our community and how you can help them in their life-changing work. At the conclusion of this series, Kearney will award grants to the nonprofit that gets the most votes in an online poll. For more profiles, visit give.tallahassee.com.
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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: #GiveTLH 2022: Teenpreneur equips kids with business skills