CEOs from HSBC USA, DonorsChoose and Intuit Mentor Student CEOs During Virtual Enterprises’ Executive Conference, April 20

HSBC Announces $1 Million Grant to VE; VE Celebrates its 25th Anniversary During Its Annual Youth Business Summit

Michael Roberts, CEO of HSBC Americas, along with Charles Best, founder and CEO of DonorsChoose and Lara Hood Balazs, executive vice president, chief marketing officer and general manager of Intuit, will join nearly three dozen other C-suite and top-tier executives during the Virtual Enterprises (VE) Executive Conference on April 20.

The event provides an opportunity for the executives to engage, interact and mentor VE student CEOs to improve their business skills and acumen. The Executive Conference kicks off Tuesday, April 20 at 11 a.m. ET with an executive panel discussion led by Roberts, Best and Hood Balazs, followed by breakout sessions with all executives and VE student-entrepreneurs from noon through 1 p.m. Both events will be livestreamed and available for public viewing.

The Executive Conference is one part of VE’s annual Youth Business Summit (YBS), a series of events held April 20-22 that will attract over 5,000 student-entrepreneurs globally. It is the largest gathering of virtual businesses in the world. A complete listing of events can be found at the YBS website. HSBC Bank USA, N.A., (HSBC) and Intuit are major sponsors of the YBS.

HSBC announced a $1 million grant to the VE program to support the nonprofit’s national growth.

“So many students, particularly those at schools in underserved communities, have lost so many hours of learning over the past year, yet they have demonstrated impressive commitment and resiliency in their studies,” said Roberts. “Through this grant, HSBC extends a nearly 25-year partnership with VE that will help bridge the learning gap.”

Over the course of its relationship with VE, HSBC will have provided a total of $3.8 million in financial support, and HSBC employees have given thousands of volunteer hours. In 2020, 295 employees contributed a total of 831 hours to support VE programs, offering their international banking and business expertise to participating students.

Best, who was a VE instructor in the late the 1990s, launched DonorsChoose during his years as a Bronx high school teacher. Since, DonorsChoose has been named one of the “50 Most Innovative Companies in the World” and Mr. Best has been named a pioneer in crowdfunding, a term which didn’t exist when he launched his nonprofit 21 years ago.

In addition to Hood Balazs aforementioned roles, she also leads Intuit’s ProConnect group and Corporate Responsibility efforts which focus on diversity and inclusion, job creation and readiness. Since 2018, VE students have benefitted from these and other Intuit resources, like mentorships from Intuit employee mentors in multiple U.S. states, professional Intuit workshops and networking events like QuickBooks Connect.

Celebrating its 25th year, Virtual Enterprises is a unique, year-long program which teaches students how to start and run a virtual business together with their classmates throughout the school year. Highlights of VE’s annual Youth Business Summit include its National Business Plan Competition (NBPC), as well as national competitions in Human Resources, Marketing, Finance and QuickBooks. Additionally, a Global Innovation Challenge will ask international teams of students to present their solution to climate change and YBS’s International Online Trade Show will feature the simulated businesses started by the 5,000+ students scheduled to be in attendance. Through the International Online Trade Show, VE firms will connect with each other as well as industry professionals in an effort to buy and sell products and services from one another.

Note to editors:

About Virtual Enterprises International

Virtual Enterprises International (VE) is a national nonprofit that transforms students through authentic business experiences which prepare them for fulfilling, financially secure futures. Since the inception of the Virtual Enterprises (VE) program in 1996, it has served over 175,000 high school students, including many from economically disadvantaged communities. In 2015, VE introduced the VE-JV Career Academy, a similar two-year program which enables 7th and 8th grade students to develop technology and entrepreneurial skills by starting and managing business ventures.

We currently support 16,500 students across the U.S. each year and are part of a global network spanning 40 countries and 7,500 student-run businesses. Learn more about VE on our website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages.

About HSBC

HSBC Bank USA, National Association (HSBC Bank USA, N.A.) serves customers through retail banking and wealth management, commercial banking, private banking, and global banking and markets segments. It operates bank branches in: California; Washington, D.C.; Florida; Maryland; New Jersey; New York; Pennsylvania; Virginia; and Washington. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is the principal subsidiary of HSBC USA Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC North America Holdings Inc. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is a Member of FDIC. Investment and brokerage services are provided through HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., (Member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC) and insurance products are provided through HSBC Insurance Agency (USA) Inc.

HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of HSBC, is headquartered in London. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 64 countries and territories in its geographical regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,984bn at 31 December 2020, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations.


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