05/16/2012 04:09 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Modern Business Tools for the Young Entrepreneur:

What does today's young entrepreneur need in order to succeed?

In part one of this series, we discussed how personal support and mentoring encourage young kids who have an idea to push it forward and pursue their dream.

In part two, we'll be taking a look at one of the newest tools available for young entrepreneurs and accessible free of charge to all:, which debuted earlier this month and just in time for summer employment, provides teen entrepreneurs with resources that teach them how to start their own businesses and avoid being a part of the 24.5% teen unemployment rate*.

Upon successful completion of's step-by-step course, users will have developed a basic business plan and the core set of skills needed to launch and sustain a micro-enterprise. Sound exciting? You bet! NFTE's content will now be available for the first time on the web for everyone through an easy five step process, with the foundation of those steps being the user's development of a business plan as he/she progresses through the website:

· Your Idea, Your Passion: This first step helps young entrepreneurs recognize opportunities by bringing them through a series of exercises where they can discover where they passions lie and how they can capitalize on them.

· Standing Out: this step helps users discover markets, recognize competitors, and get expert advice. Profiles of several young entrepreneurs who recount their own experiences during this particular step provide peer-level understanding and assistance.

· Know Your Numbers: Profits, losses, invoicing -- there's plenty to know and learn. Through this step, students will learn to start tracking their business' money and managing their cash flow.

· Closing the Deal: Here students discover the basics of selling a product and creating/practicing their sales pitch.

· Share Your Assets: Companies big and small share their assets in communities where they operate. Some support education and future generations by volunteering while others give money and support to organizations that have similar values. This step teaches young entrepreneurs how they can do the same once their business is up and running.


Throughout, expert advice is part of every step of the process. Examples of NFTE young entrepreneurs already running their own business provide overviews of how they succeeded. Additionally, people like Daymond John, Star of ABC's Shark Tank, lend star power to the site, and advice on early financing. Lee Zalben, founder of Peanut Butter & Company, shares the importance and power of online presence to engage customers of make selling fun.

And for those new to the business world's vernacular, a glossary of definitions is included as part of the experience.

Imagine if every teen interested in starting their own business followed the steps in, developed their business plans and started running their business. We'd have a lot of interesting answers to the cliché September essay question, "How did you spend your summer?"

* Employment Policies Institute and Bureau of Labor Statistics