Minding Our Business, Inc. is a non-profit organization that began in 1997 as a community outreach program of Rider University’s College of Business Administration. The mission of Minding Our Business, Inc. (MOB) is to change the lives of low income youth and their communities through entrepreneurship. Having trained and mentored more than 3,000 local middle school students in starting and running their own businesses, Minding Our Business currently operates three distinct educational and mentoring programs focused on experiential learning:
1) The Service Learning Program – a 12-week after-school program providing hands-on instruction to approximately 135 Trenton middle school students each spring regarding the process of starting and running a business.
2) The Summer Program – an intensive 4-week program providing 35 low-income middle school students with entrepreneurship training and mentoring at Rider University each summer.
3) The Advanced Program – a 10-month business coaching program for students needing additional business training and support to make their businesses sustainable year-round.
Each program emphasizes business and entrepreneurship training, as well as math, reading, communication and life skills, thus providing low-income, and typically at-risk youth, with unique opportunities for development. In 2008 and 2009, MOB’s Summer Program was recognized by the National Summer Learning Association as one of the top summer programs in the country in terms of summer learning excellence. In 2009, MOB was the National Winner of the Best of Best Practices Award in Entrepreneurship Education at the Small Business Institute National Conference in Florida.
Minding Our Business received our own 501(c)3 designation in November of 2012. Rider University continues to provide in-kind support to the program, including student assistants and office and facility space, however, we are now officially an independent non-profit responsible for obtaining most of our funding from external sources. Our vision is to become the leading model for service learning and summer learning in entrepreneurship for urban youth at the middle school level nationally!