powering up entrepreneurs.
Fan of entrepreneurs, believer in ownership education
Steve Mariotti is a prominent advocate for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship education worldwide. He is the founder and former president of the global nonprofit Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), and the author of books, textbooks and articles exploring the transformative power of entrepreneurship for low-income communities. Steve's memoir of his early career as a NYC public high school teacher, Goodbye Homeboy: How My Students Drove Me Crazy and Inspired a Movement (foreword by Wes Moore) came out on Aug. 6, 2019, published by BenBella Books, and immediately rose to #1 on Amazon.
He currently serves as Senior Fellow for Entrepreneurship at Rising Tide Capital in Jersey City. He is also Chairman of ExperienceCounts, an organization he helped found to help bring entrepreneurship to the over 50 million Americans aged 50 and up facing financial and health risks today.
Steve began his professional career as a treasury analyst for Ford Motor Company, before leaving the company, which was doing business with the South African Apartheid government. He later went on to found his own company, Mason Import/Export Services in New York City.
In 1982, Steve left his successful business career to serve as a Special Ed teacher in some of the city most poorest and most notorious neighborhoods. Frustrated at first by his rowdy classrooms, Steve discovered he could motivate even his most challenging students by teaching them to run a small business. This experience inspired him to found the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (today known as NFTE) with the mission to empower at-risk youth in creating pathways out of poverty.
Steve founded NFTE on his public high school teacher's salary in 1987. He went on to lead teams that raised more than $150 million for NFTE's mission over 26 years and built NFTE into the leading global provider of entrepreneurship education for low-income youth from Chicago to China. Today, NFTE operates in 23 locations in 10 countries and has served nearly one million young people.
Steve soon discovered there were no textbooks available for teaching entrepreneurship to young people, so he wrote groundbreaking textbooks, including the Golden Lamp Award-winning high-school textbook Entrepreneurship: Starting and Operating a Small Business, and the junior college textbook Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management.
Steve is also the author of the popular Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Running a Business.
Approximately 1.2 million copies of Steve's books, textbooks and workbooks have been sold or donated worldwide, including to prison educational programs like ITEM (Inmates Teaching Entrepreneurship and Mentoring), which Steve co-founded with Joe Robinson in 2004.
Steve has been profiled on national media, including ABC Evening News and 20/20. A Council on Foreign Relations member, he has lectured at The World Economic Forum, Davos and other forums and universities.
Steve was raised in Flint, Michigan, a town close to his heart and critical to his career in business and youth empowerment. He received his B.B.A. in business economics and his M.B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Mr. Mariotti has also studied at Harvard University, Stanford University, Brooklyn College and Babson College.
Today, Steve calls Princeton, New Jersey home. He enjoys attending lectures on physics at the Institute for Advanced Studies, collecting rare books, and walking in the beautiful Princeton surroundings.