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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 31, 2006

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Steve Burke, For Visa, (703) 683-5004 x 108 sburke@crc4pr.com
Michael Diegel, NFIB, (202) 314-2004, Michael.Diegel@NFIB.ORG



NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation, Visa Help
High School Students Be Their Own Boss

Educators Say Students Don’t Know Where to Go for Assistance

San Francisco, CA and Washington, D.C. – May 31, 2006 – The National Federation of Independent Business’ Young Entrepreneur Foundation, in partnership with Visa USA, have announced a new online curriculum to teach budding entrepreneurs the basics of how to start a business. According to a new Visa USA/NFIB survey, many teachers and guidance counselors say that while the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, students don’t know where to start.

Results of the study show that while 90 percent of teachers and guidance counselors say their high school students have expressed an interest in becoming their own boss, 75 percent think kids don’t know where to turn for assistance. Also, 74 percent of respondents whose schools do not offer this instruction think that it should be provided.

With this complimentary curriculum, teachers can educate future entrepreneurs on how to write a business plan, obtain funding and interact with business-related agencies, to name a few. Teachers can download the free program from both Visa’s Practical Money Skills for Life financial education program, www.practicalmoneyskills.com; and the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation’s Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom programs, http://www.nfib.com/object/IO_27244.html.

In addition, the National Education Association (NEA) has reviewed the curriculum and agreed to make information about it available to their 2.8 million members.

“Today’s rapidly changing economy means we need to prepare our youth a little differently than in years past,” said Don V. Cogman, chairman of the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation. “Most young people are full of promising ideas, and the new curriculum will enable any classroom to help students learn how to turn those ideas into credible businesses. We are pleased to be working with Visa to find another way of recognizing the entrepreneurial spirit within our nation’s young people.”

“Young entrepreneurs will fuel the engine of the American economy for decades to come. It’s important that learning to run a small business is not a trial and error experience,” said Rhonda Bentz, vice president, Visa USA. “Both Visa and NFIB share a common goal to provide educational resources to students, a natural extension of our multi-decade commitment to financial education.”

Additional key findings of the survey include:

  • In schools that offer entrepreneurship instruction, 30 percent of respondents said their students are more likely to wind up starting their own business one day. This number dropped to only 19 percent among those who were surveyed in schools that do not offer any entrepreneurship instruction.
  • Fifty-two percent of respondents who said they think students are more likely to start their own business believe the main reason is because working for an employer has become less reliable.
  • Sixty percent of respondents who said they think students are less likely to one day start their own business cite a lack of motivation as the main reason why.
  • Sixty four percent of respondents said having high schools offer classes that give students the basic know-how to start a business would be the most helpful way to encourage more students to follow their dreams of someday starting their own company.
Visa surveyed 350 high school teachers and guidance counselors, online, from April 25-May 9 2006. To see the Visa/NFIB survey results and to access the free, online entrepreneurship curriculum please visit: www.practicalmoneyskills.com or http://www.nfib.com/object/IO_27244.html.

About Visa
Visa USA is the nation's leading payment brand and largest payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumers and business customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives tailored to meet their evolving needs. Visa USA is committed to increasing the choice, convenience, acceptance, and security of Visa payments for all stakeholders in the payment system - Members, cardholders and merchants. Through its 13,500 Member financial institutions, more than 488 million Visa-branded cards have been issued to cardholders in the United States. Last year, U.S.-based financial institutions relied on Visa's processing system, VisaNet, to facilitate $1.3 trillion in transactions with unparalleled reliability.

Worldwide, cardholders in over 150 countries carry more than 1 billion Visa-branded cards, accounting for more than $3 trillion in annual transaction volume.

Visa offers a trusted, reliable and convenient way to access and mobilize financial resources - anytime, anywhere, anyway.

About NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization promoting the importance of small business and free enterprise to the nation’s youth. The Foundation is associated with the National Federation of Independent Business, the nation’s largest small-business advocacy group. A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 1943, NFIB represents the consensus views of its 600,000 members in Washington and all 50 state capitals. More information is available at www.NFIB.com/YEF.

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