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Symposium 2012

Proposal - HOPE Business-In-A-Box

The Challenge

As governments face increasing debt burdens and companies too face significant cost burdens, there is a clear movement towards individual responsibility for financial planning for retirement. This mov ...

As governments face increasing debt burdens and companies too face significant cost burdens, there is a clear movement towards individual responsibility for financial planning for retirement. This movement is happening at precisely the time that individuals themselves are feeling more insecure about the future in the face of declining job security and the increased reluctance of financial institutions to provide credit.

Introducing HOPE Business-In-A-Box.

What if we could reconnect the power of aspiration with the power of education in our children's lives? What if a child in elementary school could start a business for $50-100? A middle school student could do the same with up to $200, or up to $500 for a high school student? What if they could get a financial literacy course and a course in dignity, connected with a primer course in entrepreneurship?

They could select from 25 businesses that can be started for $500 or less, pitch their idea for this business in front of a live audience of role models from their community, get a Business-In-a-Box Youth Entrepreneurship Grant, a business role model, and even a bank account--how would that change their lives? How would that bring the power of aspiration and imagination, and hope back to their educational experience?

We think the Gallup-HOPE Index, a donation to America’s schools from Gallup and Operation HOPE, could measure all of this on the front-end, middle, and the back-end. We think it changes everything. Introducing HOPE Business-In-a-Box.

HOPE Business-In-A-Box

HOPE Business In-A-Box (HBIAB) is but one of the powerful ways HOPE will operationalize this vision on the ground and with youth and communities. HBIAB will channel and transform a youth’s natural aspiration and state of hope into practical and life changing action steps. Action steps that they can move on themselves, with a little help from HOPE.

HBIAB consist of several easy to start, fund and operate small business and entrepreneurial endeavors designed for and around the capabilities of youth. Baked into this approach is the recognition of youth’s increasing levels of financial literacy and economic energy, discovered through active engagement with HOPE empowerment programs.

  • Designed for youth 4th grade through 12th grade (8 to 18 year olds) who have completed the HOPE Banking on Our Future program (Operation HOPE's youth financial literacy program).
  • Funded and initiated at the $50, $100, $250 and $500 start-up capital levels.
  • Transformed from idea to inspiration within 60 days.
  • Featuring a dedicated business mentor to serve as a role model and strategic advisor to each HBIB student participant

 

The HOPE Difference

HOPE will lead and seed fund up to $25,000 in HOPE Business-In-A-Box commitments for youth business micro-grants, pivoting off of our award-winning Banking on Our Future financial dignity programs. HOPE has created 25 business ideas that youth can start with $500 or less.

How It Works

HOPE’s award winning Banking on Our Future program is presently operational in more than 3500 urban, inner city and under-served schools throughout the U.S. and South Africa (more than 270 cities).

HOPE youth that complete the Banking on Our Future (financial literacy) program in their school will have an opportunity, through their school, to start their own HOPE Business In-A-Box for low cost or no cost.

How It Gets Funded

HOPE Business In-A-Box will be funded by concerned businesses, organizations, individual philanthropist, and in some cases schools, parents and the youth themselves.

Thanks to available unrestricted funds from HOPE, along with the support of anonymous donors, the HOPE Office of Small Business & Entrepreneurship will make a founding gift of $25,000 in HBIAB start-up kits available to select youth in under-served communities that show unique initiative and interest in becoming their own boss.

How Success Gets Measured

The Gallup-HOPE Index showed that 91% of all youth were not afraid to take risks, 77% of all youth wanted to be their own boss, yet only 5% of all youth had a business internship, and 4% of all youth had a business now. Given that the Gallup-HOPE Index was based on a national scientific poll (3% margin of error), it is assumed and presumed at HOPE that the “business internship” number in the underserved communities that HOPE serves across the nation is much lower, and in some communities may be zero.

The Gallup-HOPE Index focus on cities was born of a desire to bring the national Gallup-HOPE Index poll (3% margin of error) down to the level of a community census (with a zero % margin of error). Localized and working hand-in-hand with HOPE Business-In-A-Box, the Gallup-HOPE Index seeks to track, trend and measure a “doubling” of youth financial literacy and economic energy, and specifically a tripling of business internships and business role models.

For more information, see the 4-minute HOPE Business-In-A-Box video at http://www.operationhope.org/business-in-a-box

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