2019-20 Annual Report


Message from the President

Dear Friends,

In 2020, everyone’s lives changed. COVID-19 disrupted everything from how we work to how we live to even how we learn.

At VE, we’re no strangers to transformation and in response to unprecedented changes in public education required by stay-at-home orders, we quickly enhanced our online learning support system to help schools modify their program implementation. This included course modifications, new course offerings optimized for remote learning, sharing of best practices among teachers, and providing innovative ways to leverage video conferencing technology to provide schools with opportunities for mentorship through our national business partners.

Our students are our biggest inspiration and the beginning of 2020 proved why yet again. As we converted our program offerings to accommodate a new educational landscape, VE students demonstrated professionalism, digital skills, resilience, and the kind of spark they will need to succeed no matter what the future holds.

At a time when the world of work is changing faster than ever, VE serves a crucial role connecting education and industry. We’re constantly engaging industry leaders through our National Board of Directors, National Advisory Council, and corporate and postsecondary partnerships. Highlights of our partnerships from this past year include Intuit’s commitment of $1 million to help build the future workforce, New York Life Foundation’s renewed support of $750,000 for the VE-JV Career Academy, and Intuit’s pledge to provide access to QuickBooks and design-thinking curriculum for all VE classrooms across the U.S.

Since 1996, we have transformed the lives of more than 175,000 students. Three out of every four VE students find their career path because of VE. Through the talent and dedication of our teachers and school leaders and with the support of our industry partners, donors, and volunteers, VE is able to provide students with authentic business experiences that cultivate fulfilling and financially secure futures.

On behalf of our Board of Directors and staff, many thanks for your unwavering support during this very challenging year for all—especially our youth. Your partnership has enabled us to enter our new fiscal year stronger and better positioned to prepare young people for the future that lies ahead.


Nick Chapman
Virtual Enterprises International

2019-20 Snapshot

VE transforms students through authentic business experiences that prepare them for fulfilling, financially secure futures. Since its inception in 1996, VE has served over 175,000 students, including many from economically disadvantaged communities. We currently support 16,500+ students across the U.S. each year and are part of a global network spanning 40 countries and 7,500 student-run businesses.

All young people must have the opportunity to learn and succeed regardless of zip code

Students Served This Year
Total Class Sections
Students in Leadership Positions
Average Hours of Work Experience Gained by Students

A thriving global economy
requires a skilled workforce

of students interacted with business professionals
of students learned to collaborate and work as part of a team
of students developed leadership skills
of students developed critical thinking and problem-solving skills

The nature of work and the
workplace are changing

Transforming the VE Experience
for a New World

In light of unprecedented school closings across the country, VE provided resources to help deliver high-quality online learning experiences for students outside the VE network. These resources were designed for students in grades 6-12 to provide them with foundational technology and career readiness skills.

Launched Online Learning Resource Guides for Schools

Based on the VE model of career exploration and career development courses, this resource guide provided schools with online learning activities that helped students and educators transition to remote learning. The guide included an adaptable curriculum and online resources, a Work From Home Career Readiness BINGO game, tips for using video conferencing for online learning, and instructions for organizing online class competitions.

Launched VE Tech Apps for Hands-Online Learning

This course was adapted from VE’s Technology Applications for Business and the Entrepreneur. Available for either middle school or high school, it was designed to provide hands-on, relevant learning experiences to all students in academic or CTE courses and includes orientation resources to get started.

Total Sections Requested
Total Schools Enrolled
High School Sections
Middle School Sections

Preview of Tech Apps Student Activity and Teacher Lesson

Youth Business Summit: Reimagined

For the first time in VE’s 24-year history, we made the difficult decision to cancel the Youth Business Summit due to the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the world and particularly in New York City.

In very short order, the VE team “reimagined” this event to accommodate student participants in a digital-first, remote-only conference experience that included Digital Meet & Greets with business partners, an Online International Trade Show, a Social Media Contest, and recognition for National Business Plan Competition finalists.

In total, over 2,000 students, teachers, and business mentors from 13 countries participated in the events, and #YBSReimagined was used in over 400 posts on social media.

Click each banner below for the full recap

New in VE-JV

The VE-JV Career Academy is a two-year program enabling 7th- and 8th-grade students to develop technology and entrepreneurial skills by starting and managing business ventures. Classrooms are converted into workplace settings that provide real-world contexts for learning about business and careers.

In its fifth year, VE-JV expanded to reach more students and added new features, such as the Written Business Pitch event. VE also welcomed Will Wilson, who serves as National Middle School Program Director.

Middle School Students
Middle Schools
States (CA, FL, NC, NY)

Launching the PRO Feedback Tool

VE launched an online platform enabling students to examine their interpersonal, professional and leadership competencies while using machine-learning technology to foster their continued growth.

Through a partnership with 2gnoMe (“To know me”) a technology company specializing in the assessment and development of soft skills, VE now offers tools that enable students to build 21st-century skills that meet the needs of prospective employers. At the same time, the platform will provide educators with a valuable resource that individualizes students’ personal and professional development.

This platform was piloted in early 2019 in five sites across the U.S. that were representative of the different student populations served by VE.

Read the full press release here.

“We are excited to be part of VE’s learning experience platform because of the rigor and results behind their workforce skills development program. We’re confident that this new technology will provide students with the insights and personalization they need for better professional and personal growth.”  – Ilya Zeldin, 2gnoMe CEO

Screenshots showing VE’s PRO Feedback Tool in action

“My heart is full. While learning the new curriculum and navigating the Hub and competitions have been challenging, I have never had such a rewarding experience as this. Ever. I’m seeing kids take on the mantle of leadership successfully and enthusiastically. Somehow, tasks are getting done that I didn’t even know existed! It’s truly inspiring. I’m thrilled to be part of this program. Thank you for all your support.”

- Ina Thurman, VE-JV Teacher, Los Coyotes Middle School, La Mirada, CA

Featured Student Businesses

Social Impact Pitch Finalists

The 2020 VE Social Impact Pitch, sponsored by BNP Paribas, is a business pitch competition designed to inspire VE students to propose solutions to pressing social and environmental issues.

These budding entrepreneurs will be able to transform their concepts into viable businesses that drive social change through mentorship, education, financial support, and real-world business opportunities. BNP Paribas awarded a monetary prize to the first-place team to advance their concept and each member of the second- and third-place teams received a laptop computer, supported by VE Board Member Jay Novik.

Ecocentric offers an eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic-packaged amenities found in hotels.

Sole Purpose is an online casual sneaker company that recycles rubber waste to form the soles of our shoes.

Rolling Homes is a nonprofit combating the homeless crisis in New York by transforming old school buses into mobile housing.

2020 VE Alumni Award Recipient

Etsio Flores

New Dorp High School Alum, Current junior at Mercy College in NYC (Finance)

Etsio grew up in Staten Island New York and is a 2017 graduate of New Dorp High School. While there, he took part in VE and was the CFO of his virtual company.

Etsio’s path to college included challenges at every turn, and he credits VE for enabling him to see a path forward. He says the program allowed him to develop leadership, self-confidence, public-speaking and presentation skills. Most importantly, however, VE enabled him to find a passion for a career path that he’s currently pursuing in college. Through VE’s college partners, Etsio was able to secure a scholarship to Mercy College, making college a reality for him.

“VE allows me to contribute to a created company and brings me out of my comfort zone. VE has shown me that I am capable of speaking in front of a crowd of judges and other peers.”

- VE Student, from 2019 VE Student Exit Survey

Providing Support for Under-Resourced Communities Through the Opportunity Fund

In the 2018-19 school year, VE launched the Opportunity Fund in collaboration with longtime partner HSBC to provide more opportunities for schools from under-resourced communities.

In 2019-20, this fund expanded to cover program fees and travel expenses to the 2020 YBS. Unfortunately, these trips were cancelled due to COVID-19 but the following teams were selected as Opportunity Fund recipients.

Crestwood High School, Sumter, SC

Dos Palos High School, Dos Palos, CA

Nathaniel Narbonne High School, Harbor City, CA

Piper High School, Sunrise, FL

Piper High School, Sunrise, FL

Partners & Supporters

Virtual Enterprises International Announces Multi-Year Grant from Intuit

This year VE announced a multi-year grant from Intuit, maker of TurboTax, QuickBooks and Mint. Intuit is committed to increasing career readiness and helping students build a prosperous future by developing 21st century skills through entrepreneurship and personal finance education. The multi-year grant will offer support of up to $1 Million dollars to facilitate the growth of Virtual Enterprises programming, as well as provide enhanced curriculum for students. View the full press release here.

Dave Zasada, VP of Education and Corporate Responsibility for Intuit, explains why Intuit partners with VE

Partners Thank You


Post-Secondary Institutions

Donors & Supporters




New York Life


Sandra & Eric Krasnoff
Jay Novik
The Dougan Family Charitable Fund


BNP Paribas
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.
Matt & Pamela Chasin
Ashley Fina
Mary Haggerty
Jay Lewis
Jeff & Jaclyn Taylor


Council of School Supervisors & Administrators
Paul Cronin
Joe & Nancy Delaney
Lynne & George Fina
Moe Fodeman

Steve & Marsee Israel
Evan Mittman
Marie Moody
WSGR Foundation

Up to $5,000

Steven Alper
Cindy Barsky
Mike Beck
Kathy & Gene Bernstein
Stephanie Berk
Michael Bissmeyer
Jaime Blanc
Jeffrey Bockian
Francesca Bodini
Sara Bonesteel
Matthew Boone
Stephen Breskin
Jackie Brogadir
Madison Byrne
Gerry Chasin
Simon Chow

Michael Coneys
CVC Capital Partners
Anthony DeBellis
Randye Farmer
Arlene & Bob Fauser
Robert Giordano
Andrew Glaser
Cesar Gonzalez
Karen Grinthal
Beth Grossman
Mimi Grotto
Paul Haskin
Peter Hoffman
Dylan W. Huang
Ray Johnson

Lauren Katz
Kenneth & Loretta Carson Charitable Fund
Bernadette Kriftcher
Wendy & Jerry H. Labowitz
Philip & Charlene Lally
Tanvi Lal
Julie Levi
Mark Lipari
Curtis & Linda Luckman
Riccy Mandel
Dr. Eloise Messineo
Meghan & Doug Millowitz
Fukiko Ogisu
Bret Parker
John Partilla

Charles H. Perl
Andrew Pizzo
Jack Powers
Jayme Schneider
Maria Sheinin
Fabienne Silverman
Mark Smith
Stephen Stabile
Jacob Stuebbe
Kathryn Swintek
Judith Tytel
Steven & Helene Walsey
Laura Wang
Monica & Jerry Wood


Photos provided by Jeffrey Holmes, editing contributions provided by Barbara Shore, and writing contributions provided by Rossana Weitekamp and Sonja Visser.