Young Pakistani Girl Wins Coveted Award


Warda Ali – 15-year-old high school sophomore – has just returned from winning first place in the 2nd annual Smith Barney/NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship

San Francisco: Local 15-year-old entrepreneur Warda Ali won the top prize in New York, NY at the 2nd annual Smith Barney/NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. Prevailing over 30 competitors, Ali brings home $10,000 in cash prizes for investment in her business or education. The students in the Challenge represented the top 31 competitors out of 21,000 students participating nationally.
Ali – a 10th grade student at Silver Creek High School in San Jose – looked to her love of playing and watching cricket for her business plan. She devised a business plan for an online retail company selling customized cricket bats. Ali then built a partnership with her uncle in Pakistan in order to manage manufacturing and importation.
“Warda is truly a rising star and a great example of what young people can deliver when given the skills and training,” said Gerald Richards, Executive Director, National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship Bay Area region. “Seeing young people take ownership of their education, strive to develop their skills and then flourish is what NFTE sets out to do,” added Richards.
When she was just 14 years old, Ali learned the fundamentals of business during her freshman year through a partnership between Silver Creek High School and the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). She then went on to win her classroom and the Merrill Lynch/NFTE Bay Area Regional Business Plan Competition – winning first place in both.
NFTE’s entrepreneurship education program teaches students in low-income communities the business skills to start their own small business, while reinforcing academic, life and financial literacy skills. Students learn the business fundamentals and develop business plans that include start-up costs, expenditures, return on investment (ROI), sales, and projected growth. Students also develop a philanthropic component to highlighting the importance of corporate responsibility.
NFTE’s goal is to give young people the skills and confidence to unlock their true potential, so that they can improve their lives and their communities. According to research conducted by the Harvard Graduate School of Education on students participating in NFTE programs, entrepreneurship education may be powerful in helping students stay on the academic track and aspire to attend college.
The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship ( is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, whose mission is to provide entrepreneurship programs to young people from low-income communities. Since 1987, NFTE has reached over 180,000 youth. NFTE currently has active programs in 28 states and 13 countries.
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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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