Update: Submission period has been extended to April 15, 2020.
AUSTIN, Texas (March 11, 2020) – Today, Whole Kids Foundation announced it is awarding $5,000 to student entrepreneurs who are improving the way kids eat through its #WholeKidsBiz sweepstakes this month. With a mission to improve children’s nutrition and wellness, the nonprofit is providing this opportunity to build awareness of youth-led businesses and develop understanding for a future grant program for students and school programs.
From March 18 – 25, students 11 – 18 years old, with the support of a parent or teacher, can enter for a chance to win funds to support their projects by submitting a video under three minutes, describing how their business or entrepreneurial school program is helping kids eat healthier in one of three areas: gardening, plant-forward cooking or nutrition education.
Youth interest in entrepreneurship is on the rise. In the U.S., 8 in 10 students (77%) in grades 5 – 12 say they want to be their own boss, 45% say they plan to start their own business, and 42% say they will invent something that changes the world, according to the Gallup-HOPE Index. The sweepstakes is the first step in determining interest and support needed to help young entrepreneurs and school business programs and will help guide a future pilot grant program.
“Students are taking the lead in powering real change in their communities and schools—whether it’s growing and selling vegetables from their school garden or incorporating vegetables into baked goods,” said Nona Evans, Executive Director of Whole Kids Foundation. “We’re excited to support entrepreneurial learning, as the critical thinking skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur will set up our next generation of leaders for success in whatever they aspire to.”
Video entries must also share lessons learned and tips for success to help other kids learn how to start their own businesses and for schools to grow their own programs. Parents and teachers can submit their entries on behalf of students via one of five channels: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or the Foundation’s website. Full entry details are available at https://www.wholekidsfoundation.org/WholeKidsBiz. 12 winners will be selected and announced on April 2, 2020, with a grand prize of $1,000 and smaller prizes in $500 and $250 increments.
The Foundation has a long history of engaging with educators and communities to determine future grant programs. In 2014, Whole Kids Foundation hosted a pilot grant to gauge national interest in and need for educational beehives. Just two years later, the Foundation formalized and launched its Bee Grant Program, which provides not one, but four grant options catered to meet the greatest needs of its K-12 school and nonprofit recipients. This year, Whole Kids Foundation will award its one-millionth dollar with its Bee Grant Program to fund beehives that help children observe bees up close and learn about the vital role these pollinators play in the food system.
Since 2011, Whole Kids Foundation has awarded more than $34 million in grants, resulting in 6,005 edible learning gardens, 5,804 school salad bars and 501 bee programs, serving more than 8.1 million students. Additionally, the Foundation has trained more than 19,000 teachers and school food service workers through its healthy staff programs focusing on nutrition and wellness.
For more information about the Foundation, visit wholekidsfoundation.org.