Celebrating National Entrepreneurs’ Day 2021
Today we celebrate our nation’s entrepreneurs and learn from these pioneers and problem solvers who continue to chart their own paths and embrace risk-taking. They have taken a unique and personal approach to what the “American Dream” truly means and tie back to the values that drive them. In a world that includes traditional companies, popular chains, and giant corporations, entrepreneurs must be constantly proving what sets them apart.
Through the persistence of David Hauser and Siamak Taghaddos, founders of Grasshopper, who both noticed the lack of celebration for individuals who turned their ideas into businesses, this national day was in the process of being born. After collecting signatures and proposing the idea more broadly – being the first-ever Twitter petition – President Obama declared the last day of National Entrepreneurship Week as National Entrepreneurs’ Day back in 2010.
Entrepreneurship is a career pathway NAF fully supports. In 2021, nearly 2,500 graduating NAF seniors took at least one entrepreneurship course during high school. Entrepreneurship classes teach the steps involved in creating and running a business while fostering creativity, initiative, and agency. Students also learn how to work collaboratively, think analytically, and prepare a business plan and pitch. As a result, young people can foster an entrepreneurial mindset with experiential, project-based learning that gives them a competitive edge early in their careers/in any career field and become innovators, problem-solvers, changemakers, and more!
We interviewed Debbie Moore, NAF educator at Mountain Ridge High School, Academy of Entrepreneurship, to learn more about their journey. Embedded within the Career and Technical Education (CTE) course offerings, this academy is developing the next generation of business owners and leaders.
Throughout their four years, a student progresses through their high school academy experience and has access to relevant career-focused curriculum – learning about marketing, event planning, hospitality and tourism, and global economics. Students also are tasked with creating a business plan and receive feedback from a board of executives to refine their ideas.
In the short time since this academy’s inception in 2016, Mountain Ridge High School has supported the creation of 13 student-run businesses, covering a wide range of interests — personal training, digital marketing, website design, app design, and even nonprofits.
Whether their business ends up making it to market, the academy’s goal is to connect students with their community and to provide them with paid internship opportunities.
Senior, Troy B., who also plays baseball and is an avid fan of the game, started his own business selling custom baseball bats called 3bbatsaz. Over the course of a year and a half, he has sold over 80 exclusive bats for around $120 per order, which requires more intricate designs and factors in shipping costs.
“My experience in the academy has had a positive impact on my business,” he said. “With the guidance of Mrs. Moore, I have been able to improve my skills, when it comes to managing and organizing profits.”
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have witnessed the tenacity of entrepreneurs to overcome and thrive in bold ways to fit the new normal. By showing them support, we can lift up their stories, successes, challenges, and legacies. Many of their vision statements are rooted in service, unity, connection, and acceptance and foster inclusivity that society can benefit from.
Learn more about how NAF supports entrepreneurship.