The country needs builders. The talent and dream to be a builder can be found in every zip code in the United States, however the opportunity and exposure to develop this talent and dream is not. According to the Gallup World Poll, what every citizen in the world wants most is a good job. We must find and prepare young people who have the drive to address this global challenge. We also must do so responsibly and inclusively.


Students with an entrepreneurial mindset often need an outlet outside of traditional education institutions. We know that girls and minorities are underrepresented in entrepreneurship. Only 3% of venture capital goes to female founders and less than 1% goes to founders of color. We know students who have a family member who is a business owner are 3x’s more likely to be an entrepreneur and students who write a business plan are four times more likely to start a business. Too many students simply don’t have access to these role models, mentors, ideas, and plans. Without an intervention, our country loses out on fostering some of its most valuable young people.


Entrepreneurship, or business building, can become a pathway for students to take ownership over the trajectory of their life and of their community. We believe that particularly in cities undergoing rapid development it is of upmost importance that young people gain influence by becoming an important part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. We believe students will make our entrepreneur ecosystem whole. Builders is a city model of this mission.


Create Economic Inclusion


Increase number of student-run businesses


Entrepreneurial students know their value in the workplace and school-place


Growth in business building acumen, leadership, and college and career readiness.

Going into this internship, I learned that it is not all about the money. It’s about following your passion and dream.
Dayona Capies, Summer 2016 Washington Builder
I want to thank you all for this amazing opportunity. I hope you guys continue this program because it is truly incredible. I literally can’t stop smiling. I’m truly blessed to have this opportunity handed to me. This was awesome ! Best internship ever!
N'Kozia Knight, Summer 2016 Washington Builder
I personally witnessed a drastic change not only in myself but also in every single person who participated in the program. The program greatly improved my confidence in speaking and my effectiveness as a leader, as I now know where to devote my time and energy as a result of knowing my strengths. As a Builder, we were able to learn both about ourselves and entrepreneurship, and then apply what we learned to an real business, our own! Most importantly, I feel ready to act and start my own business, with the tools necessary to do so. Although the internship may be over for me, the t-shirt business is definitely still alive and well.
Michael Khiizgilov, Summer 2016 Washington Builder
The most valuable part of this internship has to be the guidance of our coaches and business mentors. We had planned meetings with entrepreneurs, walked us through the basics of starting a business, and boosted our confidence. When in hardships, our coaches’ energy and positivity keep inspiring me.
Shihan Li, Summer 2016 Washington Builder
Some of the most important things I learned from being a Washington Builder were one— my value in the workforce. two— how to better communicate in the workforce, whether as a manager, as a coworker, or as subordinate. I really do feel prepared to start my own business one day.
Christian Thomas, Summer 2016 Washington Builder