Teen Wins Entrepreneur Contest With a Sweet Idea

Teen Entrepreneur Contest
  • Share
The following two tabs change content below.

This month, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) picked Hayley Hoverter (pictured center, in glasses), a 16-year-old entrepreneur from Los Angeles, as the winner of its 2011 NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, presented by MasterCard Worldwide in association with Kathryn W. Davis.

Haley was awarded the $10,000 prize for a business plan she created for eco-friendly sweetener packets, beating out 31 other finalists. We love her idea because she created a small project that can have big impact. Also, we appreciate that Haley saw a need in her own world, and fixed it.

Here’s more on her inspiration: “Hoverter’s award winning business plan for Sweet (dis)SOLVE centers on the development of a sweetener made from organic sugar wrapped in a soluble organic starch that melts into your drink without adding calories, odor or taste. When Hayley Hoverter was six, her mother, a single working mom, brought her along to her job at Starbucks, early in the morning before school. Even at that young age, Hayley found the volume of discarded sugar wrappers distressing. Now a high school junior, Hayley will combat that wastefulness by executing her business plan.”

According to a TEDx talk she gave in August, sugar packets are a huge problem. She asked: “Do you know that the average successful coffee shop goes through about 4,000 paper sugar packets each week? What if we could completely eliminate this number?”

Her presentation at the NFTE competition was so convincing that some judges from the panel pledged to give her $10,000 dollars more in addition to her prize money to get her project of the ground. Said a Huffington Post article, she is now “in the process of obtaining a patent for her product and juggling letters of intent from local eco-friendly businesses in her area who can’t wait to carry it. She is looking forward to distributing it across the country.”

Watch her TEDx talk here:

What sort of need do you see in your own community? Can you think of an idea that could help people — or the planet?

Related Posts

  • Share