JA Be Entrepreneurial

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be-entrepreneurialProgram Overview

JA Be Entrepreneurial® introduces students to the essential components of a practical business plan, and challenges them to start an entrepreneurial venture while still in high school.Following participation in the program, students will be able to:

  • Recognize characteristics and practices of successful entrepreneurs.
  • Evaluate an entrepreneurial idea based on product, customer, and competitive advantage criteria.
  • Demonstrate business-planning skills for venture start-up, marketing, financing, management, and ethical decision-making.

Session Overviews & Objectives

Session One – Introduction to Entrepreneurship

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


  • 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?

Overview: 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.


  • 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?

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


  • 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?

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


  • 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

Overview: Students apply competitive advantages to entrepreneurial ventures.


  • Evaluate competitive advantages.
  • Select competitive advantages that drive a developing business venture.

Session Six – Ethics Are Good For Business

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


  • Evaluate short- and long-term consequences in making ethical decisions.
  • Express that being ethical can be good for business.

Session Seven – The Business Plan

Overview: Students apply the six elements of successful start-ups to a business plan for their product or service.


  • Compile essential entrepreneurial elements into a sample business plan.

Program Basics

  • Includes a series of seven sessions recommended for high school students.
  • Average time for each session is 45 minutes.
  • Materials are packaged in a self-contained kit that includes detailed plans for the volunteer and materials for 32 students.
  • Resources available online, including additional full-length sessions, business-plan podcasts, and On Your Own activities for students.
  • Prepares students to develop the essential components of a business plan.
  • Session-specific, student-friendly materials included to increase student interaction and emphasize JA’s experiential approach to learning.
  • Correlates well to state social studies, English, and math standards, as well as the Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts.

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