It was an exciting week of events for firms from across the country to attend the in-person 2022 Youth Business Summit! This year’s event included hybrid business competitions, online Global Innovation Challenge, in-person Business Showcase/Trade Show, and an International Online Trade Show.
Message from the President
Youth Business Summit - Back to Business
2022 National Business Plan Competition Finalists
The National Business Plan Competition showcases some of the best and brightest student leaders and budding entrepreneurs in the country. In 2021-22, forty VE companies from around the country made it to the 2022 National Business Plan Competition after demonstrating strong written business plans and oral presentations to panels of industry professionals and educators. See below to view the top eight teams from the 2022 National Business Plan Competition.
2022 National Business Pitch Competition Finalists
The VE-JV Career Academy helps engage middle-level students through real-world experiences and hands-on learning about technology, business, and careers. Students learn business by doing business, and test-driving potential careers. Students work individually and as a team to develop technology, problem-solving, communication, and critical thinking skills, preparing them for success in high school and beyond.
Our culminating competition for the 2021-22 school year took place during the week of April 4-8, 2022. Both Year 1 and Year 2 VE-JV students were encouraged to compete by presenting their business pitches to a panel of judges live via Zoom! Thirty eight teams participated in this year’s competition, below are the winners from each division!
Year 1 Division
Florence Nightingale Middle School
I.S. 2 George L. Egbert
I.S. 281 Joseph B. Cavallaro
Year 2 Division
JHS 259 William McKinley
Liberty Middle School
IS 281 Joseph B Cavallaro
Top-Tier Executives Share Their Insights and Expertise with VE Students
The Winning Women Leadership Conference is an early career development program for female leaders enrolled in the VE program who have the opportunity to engage with and learn from inspiring women business professionals about the skills needed to develop successful careers.
A panel of six dynamic female executives and business owners shared their knowledge and experience on building their personal brand, establishing a professional presence, and developing effective communication skills. Companies represented were Broadridge, Ceros, Emmelle Designs, Stella & Chewy’s, RWJ Barnabas, New York Life, and Paramount.
We are grateful that we had over 20 mentors in attendance who shared their expertise and guidance with the students. These industry leaders act as group mentors and guide students through activities centered around leadership, teamwork and presentation skills. Our corporate partners are instrumental in helping us build a talent pipeline of young women for tomorrow’s workforce.
Volunteers play an essential role in the VE experience. Skilled professionals serve as competition judges, guest shoppers at trade shows, classroom mentors, and curriculum contributors. Each year, more than 1,000 business professionals and educators volunteer their time, talents, and expertise. Each volunteer brings real-world elements and insight into the VE program, helping VE students on their journey to prepare for a successful future.
National Competitions offer VE students unique opportunities to garner real-world feedback from a diverse pool of judges. This could not be done without our corporate partners.
VE’s newest partner, Ceros, led the way in the 21-22 school year. Ceros is a digital marketing company that creates interactive content. They provided over 100 volunteers from all areas of their company, sharing their marketing expertise by judging national competitions, rating elevator pitches, company newsletters, and serving as judges at the marketing competition at VE’s Youth Business Summit.
We were also pleased to have Ceros’ inspirational Chief Marketing Office, Jamie Gier, serve as a panelist at VE’s 2021 Winning Women event and support our 25- year anniversary gala.
Elevator Pitch Competition: 36 volunteers participated; 307 ratings
Company Branding Competition: 55 volunteers participated; 515 ratings
Company Newsletter Competition: 16 volunteers participated; 159 ratings
From Our Students, to You
The alumni program is an effective way to build and grow our VE network, both by cultivating the alumni group and their respective networks. To help further our mission to provide students relevant skills-based career experiences, alumni share their personal and professional experiences as guest speakers in the classroom, mentor student-run businesses, serve as judges at VE-sponsored competitions, trade shows, and leadership events, and/or provide internship opportunities to students.
Alumni Panel Discussion
The alumni panel discussion was designed for VE students interested in learning about life after VE. Throughout the past year, VE hosted two panel discussions for Long Island and Southern regions. The panel consisted of seven college alumni who shared how they leveraged their VE experience in college.
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Celebrating 25 Years of Transforming Lives
An Evening Under the Stars to Benefit Virtual Enterprises International
Thursday, June 2, 2022
Central Park Zoo, New York City
Board Chair and dinner co-chair Sandra Krasnoff welcomed over 400 guests for an evening under the stars that included great fun, fabulous food, and a chance to support the expansion of VE’s impact on schools and students from underserved communities across the U.S.
VEI’s president, Musa Ali Shama, took the stage to share the incredible impact VE has had over these last 25 years on the thousands of students we’ve served and thanked our Board of Directors, guests, staff, and volunteers for supporting the event and the organization.
Students who represented VE’s past, present, and future served as the evening’s emcees and ushered guests into the big tent for dinner and an inspiring program. The emcees also shared how VE had bolstered their skills, inspired their career choices, and enriched their lives.
The event honored two exceptional leaders–Broadridge Financial Solutions, one of VE’s esteemed corporate partners and a champion for our students, and Iris Blanc, VE’s founder, whose vision and commitment made this amazing program possible. We also recognized Ashley Fina, VE’s former Chair of the Board of Directors for her stewardship, especially during the challenging Covid period. In addition, two of our alumni, Andrew Boryk and Nabeel Alamigar told of their journey from the VE classroom to co-founders of a business venture – Lunchbox. They were recognized with the Joseph P. Delaney Alumni Award, which recognizes VE alumni who not only demonstrate success in their careers but embody the combination of leadership, professionalism, and dedication exemplified by business leader and VE champion, Joe Delaney.
After accepting the Noel N. Kriftcher Service to Education Award, Iris Blanc presented an inspiring retrospective of VE’s 25 years of impact, showcasing three VE students whose lives were forever changed by their experience in VE.
Guests enjoyed a silent auction, a spectacular fashion show by MiJong Lee Designs, a lively text-to-pledge, and a memorable event–all to raise critical funds to support the mission of VEI.
We gratefully acknowledge the following individuals and organizations for supporting our mission of transforming students into business professionals.
Sandra and Eric Krasnoff
Janie Slevens and Jay Novik
Bank of America
Pamela & Matt Chasin
New York Life
United Federation of Teachers (UFT)
Broadridge Financial Solutions
Susana & Xavier Dailly
Nancy & Joseph Delaney
Stephanie & T.J. Durkin
Ashley Fina & Guillermo Drew-Bear
Cindi & Gregg Fisher
Farin & Morris Fodeman
Jennifer & Marc Lessner
Robin & Jay Lewis
Odeon Capital Group
Stella & Chewy’s
Atlantic Tomorrow’s Office
Community Bank Systems
Council of Supervisors & Administrators (CSA)
Courtney & Cesar Gonzalez
Marsee & Steve Israel
Jaime Blanc & Derek Feinman
Linda & Stephen Breskin
Gail & Gerry Chasin
Jennifer & Joseph Dussich
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Arlene & Bob Fauser
Carol & Lenny Federer
Alana & Alan Fodeman
Tara & Joseph Gendelman
Jeannie & Brian Kriftcher
Nancy Langsan & Dan Bernstein
Nancy & Michael Lascher
Lara & Russell Leaf
Riccy & Joel Mandel
Laurie & Larry Medvinsky
Donna & Kenny Newman
Carol and Chuck Perl
Lynn & Elliot Prigozen
Carol Anne Riddel & John Partilla
Mi Jong Lee
Helene & Steve Walsey
Simone & Craig Weiner
Bing Ying Hu
Partners & Supporters
Within Their Reach: Empowering Today’s Youth and Tomorrow’s Workforce
We are thrilled to announce a three-year, $750K grant from the New York Life Insurance Company Foundation to expand our successful Junior Ventures Career Academy (VE-JV) that will support us in our goal to reach 40,000 middle school youth through afterschool and summer school programming!
The grant, titled “Within Their Reach: Empowering Today’s Youth and Tomorrow’s Workforce,” will offer schools and afterschool and summer programs serving middle school students in under-resourced communities with high-quality career exploration and career development learning experiences that prepare them for a successful high school transition.
HSBC Opportunity Fund Extends Support to Underserved Communities
The HSBC Opportunity Fund is a grant created to help defray the cost of YBS travel and expenses for students from underserved communities and this year will award funding to five schools to attend VE’s Youth Business Summit (YBS) in New York City in April 2022. The 2022 YBS drew hundreds of student-entrepreneurs from around the world who competed for best business plan, marketing plan and business website and more. The award is in recognition of the virtual businesses created and run by the students each day from their classrooms.
This year’s award recipients are:
- Kipp DC College Preparatory High School in Washington DC
- Northside School of Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship in San Antonio, TX
- Carpintería High School in Carpinteria, CA
- Alpena High School in Alpena, MI (partial coverage)
- Ridgeview High School in Bakersfield, CA (partial coverage)