BUILD's mission is to use entrepreneurship to excite and propel disengaged, low-income students through high school to college success. How do you provide underserved young people with the resources they need to succeed? At BUILD, we do it by helping our students to start their own small businesses.
BUILD believes the power of student ideas in action drives youth to reach their fullest potential in school and beyond. That’s why we help our students develop their own business ideas, write business plans, pitch to funders and launch real businesses. As they reap the rewards—from keeping their profits to gaining self-confidence—they clearly see the connection between the classroom and career success. And because we know they can and should attend college, students also receive individualized academic support and advising for their school-work and college planning. Entrepreneurship is the hook, but college is the goal.
In 2002, BUILD became a key player in school districts when it went into local high schools and began offering its entrepreneurship curriculum as a daily, credited class. By working closely with the partner schools and their teachers, BUILD began supplementing students' traditional education with the real-life experience of running their own small businesses. This unique experiential learning program increased students' self-confidence, taught them the value of critical academic skills, and motivated them to graduate and pursue post-secondary education. Teachers have seen the transformative effect of BUILD on their students in the classroom, and the schools experience decreased drop-out rates and see more students go on to college.
Today, BUILD operates programs in the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington, D.C. and Boston. We partner with 18 schools to serve 900 students.