Introducing HOPE Business-In-A-Box, and the first founding $50.00 donors to the program for youth entrepreneurship development -- Mr. and Mrs. Spence and Jean Wiles.
Jean and Spence presented this $50.00 check to me on my birthday, establishing themselves as the first donors to this amazing new initiative to inspire a generation of entrepreneurs, small business owners and "self-employment projects." A special thank you as well goes out to Claude and Juanita Bryan, who also made a commitment on the same evening to sponsor another HOPE Business-In-A-Box.
HOPE Business-In-A-Box is a signature initiative of and for our new HOPE Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, all launched during my birthday week. Here is how it works....
- Youth participates in the award winning Banking on Our Future program, finishing A Course In Dignity, and the Banking on Our Future modules covering checking, savings, credit, investment and the history of banking.
- Thereafter youth complete an additional "primer course" in entrepreneurship, and provided the school has made a school-wide commitment to Banking on Our Future for the available of its students, Operation HOPE would offer to host a 100 Urban Entrepreneur's inspired Mini-Pitch Event in the school auditorium.
- With the Mini-Pitch Event scheduled at the school, youth would be provided with 25 HOPE examples of businesses that can be started for $500 or less ($100 or less for elementary school youth, up to $250 for middle school youth, and up to $500 for high school students).
- Participating youth can either take one of our recommended business ideas, or submit one of their own.
- Youth who complete a business summary for their chosen business would then be given 2 minutes to "pitch" their business to an assembled group of business owners and business leaders from the local community.
- Ultimately, selected youth entrepreneurs would be awarded a HOPE Micro-Business Grant and assigned a HOPE Corps business mentor, who would then open guide the youth in opening their first bank account, and standing up their chosen business.
- Donors making commitments to HOPE Business-In-A-Box, such as the Wiles and the Bryan family (corporations, businesses and foundations can also make commitments), would have an opportunity to be featured on the HOPE dedicated HOPE Business-In-A-Box website (coming soon), where donor, the youth, youth business and the current status of the project would be featured and updated.
- Finally, the "trending" youth economic energy at this and other participating schools will be tracked and assessed over time by the Gallup-HOPE Index Cities Initiative, part of the Gallup-HOPE Index. The mission of the Gallup-HOPE Cities Initiative is to double the level of youth economic energy at the local community level over a defined period of time.
The best is yet to come. Join the movement and make your own commitment to HOPE Business-In-A-Box by contacting HOPE Fellow Chris Huff, who runs the new HOPE Office of Small Business & Entrepreneurship.
Okay, let's go.... And thank you to the Wiles and Bryan family.
John Hope Bryant is a thought leader, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass) the only African-American bestselling business author in America, and is chairman of the Subcommittee for the Under-Served and Community Empowerment for the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, for President Barack Obama. Mr. Bryant is the co-founder of the Gallup-HOPE Index, the only national research poll on youth financial dignity and youth economic energy in the U.S. He is also a co-founder of Global Dignity with HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Professor Pekka Himanen of Finland. Global Dignity is affiliated with the Forum of Young Global Leaders and the World Economic Forum.