Fostering the Entrepreneurial Spirit


The BASIC Fund is partnering with NFTE, the Lumen Christi Academies, and Chevron in helping to roll out a curriculum to Bay Area schools that encourages the entrepreneurial mindset among youth from under-resourced communities – helping them build startup skills that will ensure their success.

While NFTE has a proven track record of instituting this type of curriculum in schools across the country, the local partnership with The BASIC Fund has helped to connect them with the resources to roll out their approach to entrepreneurship education and career readiness to new schools throughout BASIC Fund’s network.

“The Lumen Christi Academies relationship is an interesting network approach to school improvement and we feel we can add great value to this reform effort,” Alfredo Matthew, Director of NFTE Bay Area, said. “The introduction from the BASIC Fund has allowed us to be received with open arms by the Oakland Dioceses, and we are thrilled to be on the ground floor of this initiative.”

Matthew and his team are in the beginning stages of the curriculum roll-out to the Lumen Christi Academies, a process that will culminate in the curriculum’s implementation across all seven of LCA’s school sites during the 2019-2020 school year.

Helping to foster this entrepreneurial mindset among the Bay Area’s youth is an essential endeavor, as 90% of employers say that entrepreneurial skills are very important, 1 in 3 actively seeks to hire employees with entrepreneurial skills, and the workforce looks to transition to 50% freelancers by the year 2027.

“The best school partnerships for NFTE are schools that are vertically aligned with our approach to career readiness.  Meaning, the Entrepreneurial Mindset needs to resonate with the graduate profile and school culture.  Project Based Learning and public demonstrations of learning should be part of the assessment approach,” said Matthew. “Finally, there should be buy-in from the various levels of the school community, from administration to the teacher, to students and families.  In my experience, this vertical alignment is relationship driven and takes time to build, but it ensures success.”

The BASIC Fund is excited to be a part of this crucial partnership and the development of entrepreneurial curriculum to schools throughout the Bay Area.