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NFTE World Series of Innovation

Interested in solving problems that matter? Welcome to the World Series of Innovation.

NFTE’s World Series of Innovation is a project-based, online business idea competition that challenges young people from around the world to create solutions to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. Corporate Social Responsibility teams act as sponsors to craft the challenges in collaboration with the NFTE team and then support student implementation by acting as volunteer coaches and judges.

HundrED 2024


HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED Global Collection 2024

Web presence






Target group
Students upper
April 2023
NFTE's WSI aims to foster global awareness of entrepreneurship as the driver of innovation in education. By challenging young people to create entrepreneurial solutions to the UN SDGs, we develop their entrepreneurial mindset, emphasizing opportunity recognition, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Through Innovation Days, educators connect like-minded students to global issues.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

NFTE’s purpose is to lead the global movement for equitable access to entrepreneurship education and ignite the entrepreneurial mindset to empower students to own their futures.

The World Series of Innovation has three primary objectives:
1. Global Awareness of Entrepreneurship as the Driver of Innovation
2. Activation of the Entrepreneurial Mindset
3. Workforce Readiness

What does your innovation look like in practice?

Each year NFTE hosts 8-10 challenges from September-December that students can enter, as well as global Innovation Day coaching sessions to support the development of their idea. Students, working in teams up to 4 members, register and submit their ideas via a free, open-to-all, online platform. As part of their submission, students must identify their target customer, explain the customer problem, their business idea and business model. Here is a video explaining how to participate: https://vimeo.com/358664416

Winning teams in each challenge category receive prizes. The winning teams can be found on the winners tab (https://innovation.nfte.com/results)

Innovation Days
- NFTE works with Innovation Partners to bring half-day ideation opportunities to their communities.
-Volunteer innovation coaches support students as they build their competition submissions, providing relevant and real-life workforce experience.
-Volunteer judges select Top 3 winners after 2 rounds of judging

How has it been spreading?

To date, WSI has reached nearly 40,000 young people, with over 10,521 innovations submitted and 263 Innovation Days hosted. In the past year, WSI hosted 10 innovation challenges totaling a prize pool of over $24,000 for young entrepreneurs across the globe. WSI was also recently selected as 1 of 16 World Economic Forum’s Education 4.0 Lighthouses to represent innovators employing forward-thinking and transformative practices to reimagine the childhood learning experience. Additionally, WSI has been translated into Spanish to expand our reach in Spanish-speaking communities around the globe. Over the next 2-3 years, WSI plans to continue cultivating meaningful partnerships that can implement WSI and Innovation Days at scale, and support these efforts through further program translation.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

As a student or educator, you can visit the WSI site to explore the innovation challenges - https://innovation.nfte.com/resources.

Educators and organisations looking to implement this program with their students should reach out to wsi@nfte.com to explore how they can become an Innovation Partner to bring Innovation Days to their community.

Impact & scalability

HundrED Academy Reviews
From my personal experience, innovations like these have a high impact on those who complete their own projects, it also creates a sense of community among the group and fosters self-esteem in participants.
From the information shared, it is clear this is an internationally recognized program implemented in several countries. The scalability of this project is high as the project already has recognition globally.
- Academy member
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
Read more about our selection process


Winners and finalists showcase their one-minute pitch videos for their innovations to tackle the UN SDGs. https://innovation.nfte.com/results
Young entrepreneurs practice their elevator pitches while showcasing their ideas at a WSI Innovation Day.
Michigan teens take first place in global entrepreneurship competition for app https://www.wxyz.com/news/local-news/michigan-teens-take-first-place-in-global-entrepreneurship-competition-for-app
Op-ed: Innovation challenges put young smarts on tough problems https://www.nfte.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Boston-Business-Journal_NFTE_Innovation-challenges-put-young-smarts-on-tough-problems_May2020.pdf
Students pitch their innovations to tackle SDG 6: Clean Water at a WSI Innovation Day.
A Maxar volunteer coach mentors budding entrepreneurs to explore geospatial solutions to SDG 13: Climate Action at a WSI Innovation Day.
MetLife México volunteer coaches support students to tackle SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being at a WSI Innovation Day.
Students collaborate to solve the UN SDGs at a WSI Innovation Day in Tunisia.
Youth Activists From Queens Fight Child Poverty in Bangladesh
Future of the Business World: Tackling Food Insecurity in Singapore
NFTE selected as World Economic Forum Education 4.0 Lighthouse | NFTE

Implementation steps

Visit the World Series of Innovation website
Visit https://www.innovation.nfte.com to learn more about the NFTE World Series of Innovation. A new set of challenges aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals launches every September and asks students to apply design-thinking to a business solution that solves the SDGs.
Become an Innovation Partner
Interested in bringing WSI into your community? Reach out to us at wsi@nfte.com to explore how we can bring an Innovation Day to your school or community organisation and learn how we work with community leaders across the globe. Educators and educational leaders can check out the Innovation Partner toolkit in the resources tab to learn how to host an Innovation Day.
Host an Innovation Day
Reach out to wsi@nfte.com to learn how to facilitate an Innovation Day. Students can explore the toolkits available at https://innovation.nfte.com/resources and use design-thinking tools to bring your business-based innovation to the challenge. Work with a team, teacher, or coach at an Innovation Day to develop your business idea.
Submit your innovation
Students can submit their idea by the challenge deadline to make sure their innovation is considered for the top prize - up to $1500 USD! Feeling ambitious? They are welcome to submit innovations into more than one challenge.

Spread of the innovation

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