HYANNIS, MA-The Barnstable Charitable Foundation (BCF), founded by The Greater Hyannis Chamber of Commerce, unveiled a new partnership to provide innovative entrepreneurial education opportunities at Barnstable High School. This initiative fulfills one of the Foundation’s key objectives which is to provide funding to public schools to offer entrepreneurship education. This will allow students make an informed decision about entrepreneurship on Cape Cod, contributing to our economy and spending their lives here.
The BCF has partnered with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) to provide the program, training and curriculum to Barnstable Public Schools (BPS). The Foundation will provide a grant of $10,500 for the first year and $25,000 each year for the three following years to fund the NFTE program. This will enable Barnstable High School to teach Entrepreneurship Essentials, Entrepreneurship 1, and Entrepreneurship 2 as well as a summer academy. Each for-credit course can hold up to 75 students. The Chamber of Commerce will provide volunteers and guest speakers who will be local successful entrepreneurs.
“Our desire is to have our younger population remain here, living and working, and entrepreneurism seems to be a very successful way to help retain them on the Cape,” said Kasey Boyle, Chair of the Barnstable Charitable Foundation. “We want to give middle and high school age students the background they need for entrepreneurship and to provide a foundation of what they can do to succeed.”
Bob Cody, Chair of the Greater Hyannis Chamber of Commerce, expressed the Chamber’s support for this new initiative. “The Chamber is committed to do everything we can to keep young people here on the Cape. This program provides an opportunity to teach students how to run a business. It fits with our mission to integrate young people into the business community,” Cody stated.
“I am so excited to have this partnership with the Chamber,” said Kristen Harmon, Assistant Superintendent of Barnstable Public Schools. “It provides Barnstable Public Schools a chance to connect our students with all the opportunities on the Cape. This is the starting point for where we are going with entrepreneurship, and it will really have an incredible impact on our students.”
Jennifer Green, New England Regional Director of NFTE said, “It is critical to bring these entrepreneurship programs to the Cape. This is a time when we see a growing emphasis being placed on how we need to help empower kids to stay in their communities by giving them the skills they need contribute to a thriving, growing economy and to create value in their communities.”
NFTE is an internationally recognized nonprofit that cultivates the entrepreneurial mindset in young people, and the organization focuses its work on under-resourced communities. Since over 50% of Barnstable Public High School students qualify for free or reduced lunch, NFTE was able to partner with schools, the Foundation and the Chamber. NFTE’s award-winning high school curriculum will be provided to Barnstable High School and its classroom educators.
Small businesses are central to the Cape Cod economy, and they are an integral part of the fabric of the community. The goal of the Foundation and the Chamber is to provide a course of education to Cape students to equip them with the skills and tools to operate their own businesses and stay on Cape Cod.