Vincent Quigg dropped out of his entrepreneurship class at Downey High School last year when he couldn’t come up with a business plan idea. But a few weeks later he was back in class with a plan for an iPhone repair service. It was so good that he actually started the business.

And he’s not the only one who thinks the business could go far. Earlier this month he took home top honors at a national teen business plan competition.

Quigg’s business class was set up by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, a New York non-profit that works with low-income communities. NFTE holds the annual business plan competition, the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, to honor the best students from its national network of high school classrooms.

Quigg, 18, qualified to compete in the challenge by winning several local and regional NFTE-organized competitions. In New York, he and 33 teens from across the country presented their plans to judges, who have business and finance backgrounds.

Quigg won the grand prize – $25,000 – for his plan for TechWorld, a company that repairs and customizes iPhones. But unlike many of his competitors’ plans, his business has been up and running for about six months and has made about $5,000 in sales.

“He’s a natural-born entrepreneur,” said Estelle Reyes, executive director of NFTE’s L.A. branch. “He really knows what he wants and knows how to get there.”

Quigg, now in his first year at Rio Hondo Community College in Whittier, charges between $20 and $100 for his iPhone repairs, such as fixing cracked screens or installing new batteries, and employs two contractors who help with the business.

Though he doesn’t know how long he’ll keep TechWorld running, he plans on making a career in business.

“Business is a gamble, and I’m not sure if I’m ready to go all in on TechWorld quite yet,” he said. “I’m holding on to the money for when I can invest and start something new.”

– Natalie Jarvey

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