Elise Christophersen, a senior from McLane High School in Fresno, was named the (NFTE) Central California Regional Business Plan winner.
Christophersen was awarded the honor at the Eighth Annual NFTE Central Valley Regional Business Plan competition, sponsored by the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and NFTE Central California. The event took place in May, honoring students from 16 high schools.
Christophersen’s winning business plan is for Norway Waffles, a company that sells containers of pre-made, dry waffle mix that make up to 18 servings. Christophersen describes the heart-shaped waffles as fluffy with a soft center. She hopes to bring the Norwegian way of eating waffles, which are often topped with sour cream and jam, to America.
“The moment I heard Norway Waffles was the winner of the NFTE Central California Regional Business Plan, I couldn’t believe it,” Christophersen said. “There were so many good business plan presentations. However, I felt honored and very excited. I’m pretty sure my face said the same because I couldn’t stop smiling.”
Christophersen said winning the accolade has motivated her to keep going with her product. She said she’s planning to use the award to create a website, trademark the product name and buy supplies.
“We are so proud of Elise and her great accomplishment,” said Casey Lamonksi, educational programs director at the Lyles Center. “Not only is her product unique and innovative, her commitment to it is outstanding.”
This summer, Christophersen will travel back to her home in Norway after spending a year in Fresno with her host family. She said she plans to return to California this fall to compete as one of three finalists in the national NFTE competition for a $25,000 prize package to help finance her business.
NFTE provides entrepreneurial education programs to young people from low-income communities to enhance their economic productivity by improving their business, academic and life skills. To date, NFTE has worked with nearly 450,000 young people across the U.S. and around the world.
For additional information about the NFTE program, contact Casey Lamonksi at 559. 917.7971 or firstname.lastname@example.org.