This week, Hallandale High student Evania Joseph will be celebrated as one of The Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship’s Global Young Entrepreneurs of the Year at NFTE’s Silver Anniversary Gala in New York City, presented by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses. At the Tuesday evening gala, Evania will also showcase her company One Knot and pitch her products with young entrepreneurs from all over the world in front of business, philanthropic and community leaders.
After conducting an informal survey of her peers, Evania concluded that young people would donate to worthy causes if there were a way to do it that was both affordable and fashionable. “As a junior in high school, I noticed the huge lack of awareness of social causes such as going green, the battle against breast cancer, the efforts to stop child abuse, and the ways we can support our troops,” says Evania.
Her company One Knot spreads awareness of social causes by donating one dollar of every handmade, knotted bracelet sold to one of several charitable organizations. “One Knot is geared to shine the light on the importance of awareness in itself. Each box has a fact about the social cause that the bracelet in it is themed after. It also suggests other ways to get involved with the organization that supports the cause.” Evania plans to study international business in college, and she hopes one day to serve on the board of the United Nations. Of NFTE, she says, “You will discover the person you’re meant to be through this course. Whether it’s an entrepreneur or not, you will find yourself.”
“She is a remarkable young lady who has overcome significant obstacles to develop a socially conscious business,” said Alice Horn, executive director of NFTE South Florida. “Her story resonates particularly in view of the global youth unemployment crisis – she, like many other NFTE students, has made her own job and her own way in life.”
In Florida, 18.2% of youth aged 20-24 are unemployed, and a staggering 31.4% of youth 16-24 are unemployed, said Horn. NFTE, which offers entrepreneurship programs in dozens of schools in South Florida’s low-income areas, empowers young people not only to start businesses and create jobs, but also to be opportunity-focused, flexible employees ready to fill existing jobs.