Corporation For Enterprise Development
Donate to Foolanthropy
Please consider donating to one of the charities chosen for this year's Foolanthropy drive.
CFED expands economic opportunity by helping Americans start and grow businesses, go to college, own a home, and save for their children's and their own economic futures. Since 1979, CFED has gained a national reputation as an engine for identifying, testing, and scaling up innovative approaches to reduce poverty by expanding opportunity.
One of CFED's exciting programs is SEED, the Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment Policy and Practice Initiative. SEED provides long-term savings and investment accounts for children and youth that are allowed to grow over the course of a lifetime. Seeded with an initial deposit of up to $1,000 and built by deposits from family, friends, and the kids themselves, SEED savings are matched dollar for dollar and are restricted for the primary purposes of financing post-secondary education, starting a small business, or buying a home. Moreover, with age-appropriate financial education, SEED accounts take on additional meaning for young accountholders and their families.
The SEED Initiative
Like seeds, savings grow. And with them grow confidence, competence, connections, and capital -- the elements of development. So, like seeds, what starts small gradually becomes significant and profound.
What difference would it make if every child in America grew up knowing that he or she had a nest egg to go to college, buy a home, or start a business? What benefits would accrue to individuals, families, and society as a whole? CFED's SEED Initiative is designed to propel local, state, and national programs that will enable every child born in America to look forward to a future in which financial assets are building blocks for their aspirations. Read what two of our SEED accountholders have to say about SEED and their hopes and dreams for the future.
Duan, 13, is an 8th-grade student at the People for People charter school in North Philadelphia. He wrote the following about himself and his involvement in the SEED program: "My neighborhood is not the best place to live anymore, but I've lived here for 7 years of my life already. I stay in the house most of the time or go with my mom to work. My mom works taking care of disabled people. I live with my mom and my sister. I have a beautiful family, we love spending time together.
"I learned about the SEED program at my school. So far I have over $1,400 between my deposits and my match. I am going to continue saving so when I go off to college so my mom won't have to worry about where the money is coming from. I love the SEED program, because it shows me how to save and it's shown me that there's lots of ways to earn money." Duan and the other SEED participants at People for People, one of CFED's local partners across the country, participate in entrepreneurship training. They have started a business at their school to sell snacks in order to raise additional funds for their SEED accounts.
Dena Jo Squyres
Dena Jo Squyres, like a typical 17 year-old girl, enjoys hanging out with her friends, shopping, and playing softball. But Dena -- a student at the Cherokee Nation's Sequoyah High School in Oklahoma -- can add entrepreneur, saver, and spokeswoman to her list of after-school activities.
Dena is a natural leader who plans to become a doctor. She knew that her parents, a social worker and a truck driver, could not afford the cost of college. "I wasn't sure if it was possible to pay for college on my own, and I had almost given up hope," Dena admits. "Thanks to the SEED program, I'm well on my way to saving for college."
SEED has unleashed an entrepreneurial spirit in Dena and her fellow classmate-savers. They started an after-school business selling noisemakers and foam hands to fans at athletic games. In one season, they made over $3,000 in sales and started to turn a profit, which they will invest in their SEED accounts.
Thanks to SEED, Dena, who was once unsure that she could pursue her dream of becoming a pediatrician, will be starting college a year early. With her SEED savings, along with scholarship funding and money from her work at the local Boys and Girls Club, Dena will be able to afford tuition, books, and board at nearby Northeastern State University. From there, she plans to attend the University of Oklahoma for medical school.
Dena has spoken about SEED in front of a state legislature task force and other audiences on how it has given her the motivation and the means to aim high. She says, "SEED helped me realize that I do have the skills to take control of my future."