The NxLeveL® Entrepreneurial Training Program was founded in 1994 through a grant from The US WEST Foundation to the University of Colorado at Denver. Initially, NxLeveL was operated by the Western Entrepreneurial Network (WEN), in collaboration with partners located in the 14 western states that comprise US WEST Communications' corporate territory.
After beta-testing its educational materials in spring 1996, WEN received numerous inquiries about the NxLeveL program, and began expanding nationally. In order to reflect the program's national scope, WEN changed its name to the NxLeveL Education Foundation (NEF).
At the same time, NxLeveL received requests from participants, educators and state coordinators for training materials that would cover the issues entrepreneurs face when starting or expanding a business. NxLeveL accordingly developed new curricula and course materials, based on the collective expertise of successful educators and entrepreneurs. These curricula include:
NxLeveL for Business Startups
NxLeveL for Entrepreneurs
NxLeveL for Micro Entrepreneurs
NxLeveL for Agriculture Entrepreneurs
NxLeveL for Youth Entrepreneurs
NxLeveL Guide to Going Green
NxLeveL Guide to Money Management
NxLeveL Guide to Commercial Kitchen
NxLeveL Guide to Search Engine Optimization
Today, NxLeveL is the world's largest and most effective entrepreneurial training network. Since 1994, more than 300,000 students have participated in NxLeveL training, and more than 7,500 people are certified as NxLeveL instructors. Training has been implemented in 49 states, American Samoa and Puerto Rico. NxLeveL is also used in many other countries around the world.
NxLeveL's mission is to strengthen the entrepreneurial spirit in our communities; develop training programs that help entrepreneurs to succeed; provide training materials at an affordable price to participants and partner organizations; and assist states and communities in implementing entrepreneurship training programs.
To support these goals, NxLeveL's training courses include the following features:
- Experienced business educators, with prominent business leaders as guest speakers for each teaching module
- Networking and learning opportunities with local business leaders and participants
- Comprehensive textbooks, workbooks and resource guides
- One-on-one business counseling and support
- A learning environment that promotes critical thinking and innovative problem-solving
The University of Calgary was commissioned to study the economic impact of NxLeveL's courses. This research found that the average existing business experienced a 32-percent increase in gross sales within one year of graduation, and created 1.3 new jobs. Graduates with smaller companies (annual gross sales less than $200,000) experienced an even more dramatic success rate, with an average increase of more than 200 percent in sales.
With regard to business startups, 40 percent of participants began a business within one year of completing the course. Another 20 percent continued to work on developing their business concept. When surveyed after three years, more than 93 percent of the businesses were still in operation, whereas the national average is a mere 16.5 percent for the same time period. The survey also showed that the majority of NxLeveL participants used the business plan they created during the course to obtain business financing.
The NxLeveL Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization. As such, it relies on outside funding to achieve and maintain its extraordinary results. NxLeveL gladly accepts donations and sponsorships from individuals, corporations and other foundations that support our mission. To find out how you can help to sustain NxLeveL's important work, please contact us.