JA Be Entrepreneurial

JA Be Entrepreneurial, a new high school program, focuses on challenging students, through interactive classroom activities, to start their own entrepreneurial venture while still in high school. One of ten JA programs designed with the specific needs of upper grade students in mind, JA Be Entrepreneurial provides useful, practical content to assist students to transition into becoming productive, contributing members of society.

By developing the essential components of a business plan, JA Be Entrepreneurial challenges students to start an entrepreneurial venture while still in high school.

The key learning objectives listed beside each session state the skills and knowledge students will gain.

Session One: Introduction to Entrepreneurship

Students are introduced to the elements of successful business start-ups, myths and facts about entrepreneurship, and early product development.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Recognize the elements of a successful business start-up.
  • Evaluate myths and facts about entrepreneurship.
  • Consider product-development options.
Session Two: What’s My Business?

Students continue to develop their product or service idea by analyzing various sources of successful entrepreneurial ventures, culminating in their selection of a product or service as the basis of their business plan.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Recognize the importance of carefully selecting their product or service before starting their business.
  • Apply their passions, talents, and skills to a market-needs assessment to determine the basis of their business plan.
Session Three: Who’s My Customer?

Students examine how market needs and demographics contribute to successful entrepreneurial ventures.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Recognize the importance of analyzing their market.
  • Apply a needs assessment to the market available to a specific product.
Session Four: What’s My Advantage?

Students learn the importance of intentionally selecting and applying competitive advantages to an entrepreneurial venture.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Define competitive advantages and recognize them in other businesses.
  • Demonstrate the importance of selecting competitive advantages that give their product and market an edge on the competition.
Session Five: Competitive Advantages

Students apply competitive advantages to entrepreneurial ventures.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Evaluate competitive advantages.
  • Select competitive advantages that drive a developing business venture.
Session Six: Ethics Are Good For Business

Students learn to anticipate ethical dilemmas and consider consequences in making ethical business decisions.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Evaluate short- and long-term consequences in making ethical decisions.
  • Express that being ethical can be good for business.
Session Seven: The Business Plan

Students apply the six elements of successful start-ups for their products and services.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Compile entrepreneurial elements into a sample business plan.
Online Resources

Many more resources are available online, including additional full-length sessions, business-plan podcasts, and On Your Own activities for students.

JA Be Entrepreneurial enhances students’ learning of the following concepts and skills:

Concepts–Advertisement, Business plan, Competitive advantages, Customer, Demographic, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurial spirit, Ethical dilemma, Ethics, Financing, Franchise, Long- vs. short-term consequences, Management, Market, Market needs, Marketing, Nonprofit business, Product, Product development, Profit, Social entrepreneur, Social responsibility, Stakeholder, Voting

Skills–Analyzing information, Business planning, Categorizing data, Decision-making, Evaluating alternatives, Expressing multiple viewpoints, Graphic presentation, Oral and written communication, Presenting information, Reading for understanding, Weighing consequences, Working in groups, Working in pairs

JA Be Entrepreneurial is a series of seven required sessions recommended for students in grades 9 through 12. Each session typically takes 45 minutes to complete. Materials are packaged in a self-contained kit that includes detailed session plans for the volunteer and materials for 32 students.

All JA programs are designed to support the skills and competencies identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. JA programs also augment school-based, work-based, and connecting activities for communities with school-to-work initiatives.