We had the good fortune of connecting with Naomi Porter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Naomi, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
Building a team that has a shared vision of empowering and serving others is what matters most. EntrepreYOUership is led by a diverse global team because representation matters. Our mission is to help youth launch businesses and support the next generation of founders. EntrepreYOUership’s support extends beyond our events by providing youth with access to free consulting services, funding opportunities and an extensive network of mentors.
Our goal is to raise $25,000 to equip over 50,000 youth to launch their own businesses by 2026. EntrepreYOUership will soon receive 501c3 status, which will allow us to apply for more grants. We have been awarded $1800 in funding from America’s Promise and Rise, which enables us to continue providing start up funding to youth.
Our international team of 103 Ambassadors, Directors, and Journalists representing 26 countries. We meet weekly to develop plans to reach youth on every continent. Since 2019, we have served 2200 youth from 5 continents, 23 states and 28 countries.
Our team is motivated to expand and grow EntrepreYOUership because of the increased need for meaningful, relevant education and the diminished capacity of our schools to meet these needs. Our work addresses the global issue we face: How do we reform our education system to include the skills education needed to prepare us for the jobs of tomorrow? The EntrepreYOUership team will continue to equip young entrepreneurs to address the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to achieve a world where our global challenges are addressed and nobody is left behind.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am most proud of my work with EntrepreYOUership.
The pandemic both altered the course and accelerated the growth of EntrepreYOUership. When extracurriculars were canceled and our lives moved online, it created the opportunity to expand the project to support youth worldwide. However, the pandemic required me to mobilize a team to carefully curate an engaging online space that would be inviting and worthwhile.
In April of 2020, there were no blueprints for how to organize and manage virtual events. This required courage, collaboration and dedication to plan something meaningful and relevant. Entrepreneurs know that selling your product or service requires marketing. Our team employed strategic marketing strategies to attract youth. We advertised through online meet and greets, social media, and newsletters encouraging youth to participate.
I mobilized a global team to create an online environment that is innovative, attractive, and with a payoff. We innovate by hosting raffles to incentivize participation and maximize engagement. Our attractive environment includes social interaction and business plan writing support, without excessive lectures or powerpoints. The payoff is that participants are connected to start up funding opportunities and their businesses are promoted through social media platforms.
Youth learn how to identify business opportunities and evaluate how their skills and talents can be turned into enterprises. Youth engage in conversations about the following topics: Is there a product you could design that would improve efficiency? Is there a current product that needs a more eco-friendly design? Is there a universal problem that you can solve with a new product or service? Can you provide a different product? A more affordable option? Is there a service that you have the skills to provide? Can your service be more affordable than your competition? How can you monetize your gifts, skills, talents or interests?
Our team hosts “Think Tank” sessions where participants receive support from teen entrepreneurs and peers. This provides feedback and camaraderie, leading to thoughtful and viable business plans that address these questions: How is your business different than your competition’s? What marketing strategies will ensure success? Who will buy your product/access your service? What physical items do you need to begin?
Our mission is to help youth launch businesses and support the next generation of founders. EntrepreYOUership’s support extends beyond our events by providing youth with access to free consulting services, funding opportunities and an extensive network of mentors.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take them to the Santa Monica Pier and go for a walk on the beach. In that general area there are gorgeous hikes and sunsets. In Hollywood the hike to the Hollywood Sign is a fun way to wake up in the morning. I recommend kayaking in the Naples Canal as an affordable but fun way to see the city. In my local area eating at Dragon Fly Thai, Mayer’s Bakery, Beach Bowls and going to the Palos Verdes Cliffs at sunset for dinner is a must. Shopping at DelAmo mall and going thrifting in Torrance is the perfect place to go shopping. To hang out I would take them biking on Manhattan beach or for a day trip to Venice. Lastly, going rock climbing in joshua tree or hanger 18 is a fun way to get exercise. I am definitely a more active traveler but these are some of my favorite go to destinations.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The team behind EntrepreYOUership’s team deserves a massive shoutout. Our directors, journalists, and ambassadors have curated virtual events, launched a global start up funding competition, and a free consulting program. Thanks to the dedication of our leadership team we continue to onboard ambassadors and offer positions to youth interested in entrepreneurship and making a social impact. We welcome new team members between the ages of 10-21 who want to help achieve global economic empowerment for youth.
Other: Application to become an ambassador: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSftTj9w3rkwixjmFEbXzBcdPVeP_4jOynBgnPzfE_3wYoH8lw/viewform
Sophia Kim, Lea Trice, Naomi Porter, Stacey Porter