Building a Path Toward Success

How do you provide underserved young people with the resources they need to succeed? At BUILD, we do it by helping our students to start their own small businesses.

Did you know?

  • Less than 1-in-3 students who attend a high-poverty school graduate from college
  • 50% of black and Hispanic students in the U.S. attend a high-poverty school, versus 8 percent of all white students
  • Less than 60% of seniors in DC graduated on time , compared with 87% and 86% percent in neighboring Maryland and Virginia
  • Washington D.C. has the 2nd largest gap nation-wide in high school graduation rates between white and black students and the 4th largest gap between white and Hispanic students

Pathway to Opportunity

BUILD partners with high schools that have graduation rates below the national average and supplement traditional classroom instruction with real-world business experience and critical skill building for the future. The BUILD Program is not vocational education. Rather, it’s an in-school elective in 9th through 12th grade, taught by BUILD mentors and on-site teachers at partner public high schools.

Entrepreneurship is a powerful hook - high school graduation, college acceptance, enrollment, and success are the ultimate goals.

Here's how it works:

  • Students learn the basics of entrepreneurship while improving academic skills
  • Students develop a business plan
  • Students secure seed capital through a pitch to a Venture Capitalist
  • Students run their own businesses
  • Students concentrate on going to college

BUILD works to right the status quo by using entrepreneurship to strengthen our students' 21st century skills, get them excited for college, and help them understand their potential for greatness.

Our Results


BUILD Graduation Rate (2018)


In Scholarships


Students Served in DC

Community Partners