High school students around the city are returning to school after winter break but this creative 11th grader is looking forward to the launch of his own business!
Meet Jamal Muhammad!
Jamal is an 11th grade homeschooled student in Memphis and a finalist in Let’s Innovate Through Education, or LITE. Jamal learned about LITE as a student in Code Crew, an initiative in Memphis that mentors youth to be tech innovators and leaders through practical, hands-on computer science education. After learning how to code phone apps in one of Code Crew’s programs, Jamal decided to apply to LITE for the chance to develop and launch his own business.
Becoming an entrepreneur is something I have always thought about, but I never knew how to go about it – Jamal Muhammad
Jamal’s Business: Tourist Detective
Tourist Detective is an app created to promote the tourism industry in Memphis by connecting and engaging users with local tourist attractions. Memphis is well known for attractions like Graceland, the Civil Rights Museum, Beale Street, and more, but what’s next? How would a visiting tourist or new Memphian discover the lesser known attractions that make Memphis great?
That’s where Tourist Detective comes in! With Jamal’s app, users can find local restaurants, movies, historical places, and other great businesses in Memphis that don’t get a lot of publicity. As you wander the streets of Memphis looking for something to do that suits your interests and your budget, Tourist Detective can send you notifications with information on nearby businesses that YOU would like. Tourist Detective also makes it easier to leave your mark on the 901 with a unique Geo filter that can be shared on your social media platforms. When you hop on the app to find something near you, you can also choose from categories like family, teen, 21+, and more. Whether you come to Memphis alone, with friends, or with family, you can always find great places for entertainment, food, and fun with Tourist Detective.
LITE pushed me to be myself and inspired me to create something to help my community. – Jamal Muhammad
What is LITE?
Let’s Innovate Through Education is a Memphis-based initiative to equip African-American and Latinx students with 21st century skills to create wealth. LITE recruits students in high school to go through a rigorous 6-month entrepreneurship training program. Students like Jamal lean valuable business skills like problem solving, creating a business plan, professionalism, and so much more. After graduating the program in a business model competition, Pitch Night, students remain in the program for 7 years. LITE continues to track students’ success while matching them with paid internships and helping them navigate college options.
Going through the LITE program is awesome! I loved coming in every week to meet with the staff and get help with my idea. I had great coaches to give me guidance and encouragement me to pursue my goals. – Jamal Muhammad
Jamal has one message for other students considering applying for LITE:
If a student is considering LITE, it is the perfect program for someone who wants to learn how to start a business, and get funding for your it. The best part is the LITE team. They are committed to you and your success. – Jamal Muhammad