Entrepreneurship Everywhere

Sample Entrepreneurship Education
Programs in the United States


Ben Franklin High School,
Free Enterprise/Economics

Michael D. Hess, Instructor
Ben Franklin High School
Orleans Parish School System
2001 Leon C. Simon Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70122
Fax: 504-286-2642
Email: mhess@iopener.net
Web site: http://www.gnofn.org/~bfsenior/

Focus: High school seniors are required to take the Free Enterprise/Economics class

Geographic Area: A public city-wide access school serving a very divergent student body

Products and Services: High school class

Age Level: 12th graders

Abstract: In the Free Enterprise/Economics classes, each section creates their own business. The economics student company provides students with the opportunity for a hands-on experience in the business world. Students conduct market research, raise capital through the sale of stock, produce and sell a product, and maintain company records. The student company teaches responsibility and provides leadership opportunities in addition to an appreciation of the economic principles learned in class. The course is student directed, and students are allowed several choices relative to interests and talents. Profits are shared with various charities chosen by the students.

Over a seven-year period, Free Enterprise/Economic classes have donated $24,386 to various student chosen charities or community service organizations. Certificates of merit have been awarded to the class by two mayors of New Orleans, the current governor of Louisiana, and the United States House of Representatives. Twice we have been featured on local TV news programs. In 1999, a full half-hour program was produced for the school system cable channel highlighting the Franklin Free Enterprise/Economic program.

The Heritage Academy for Girls' Inc.

Victoria M. Garrett, Founder and Executive Director
The Heritage Academy for Girls' Inc.
5833 West Rio Drive
Baton Rouge, LA.70812
Email: vmgarret@bellsouth.net
Web site: www.theheritageacademy.com

Focus: Empowerment for young girls

Abstract: The Heritage Academy for Girls' Inc. is a faith-based leadership organization whose mission is economic empowerment for girls' through entrepreneurship and investment training. Victoria Garrett, founder of the Heritage Academy for Girls' Inc. a native of Louisiana is a recipient of Oprah Winfrey's "Use Your Life Award".

Ms. Garrett, a former teacher, saw a lack of self-esteem and motivation among the third grade girls that she taught. She observed that the girls in her class were becoming dependent on boys for money to get their hair and nails done. They were looking for a "Suga Daddy", falling into a cycle of dependent behavior very early. Ms. Garrett was extremely disturbed by her observations and decided she needed to find a method of empowering these girls to be self-sufficient.

An entrepreneur, Victoria took action using her personal savings as she started The Heritage Academy for Girls Inc. The Academy is holistic in its approach to service, recognizing the need for parental involvement and developing innovative ways for parents to create better lifestyles for themselves and their families.

The Heritage Academy offers 8 different program components:

  • Saturday Academy
  • Summer Academy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Parent Empowerment Network
  • Mentoring
  • Community Service
  • Abstinence
  • Investment Training

North Caddo High School,
The Market Place

Terry Elmore, DECA/Marketing Education Teacher Coordinator
North Caddo High School
201 Airport Drive
Vivian, LA 71082
Fax: 318-375-5210
E-mail: telmore@aol.com

Focus: DECA Sales and Marketing Company (also known as "The Market Place")

Age Level: High school marketing education/DECA students, DECA associate members

Abstract: As a favor to the principal of the school, the DECA organization was asked to help get the yearbook out of debt so the school could begin to publish the books again. The class was organized into a business with various departments, concentrating on sales and service. The students became the outside sales people as well as being assigned a department such as development, marketing, design, and customer service. In one year, the yearbook went from having debt of $13,000 to breaking even.

Recognizing an opportunity (other than learning experiences), the students developed a proposal and presented it to the principal. They would continue to sell yearbook ads and take on the additional responsibility for a commission if they could form a business based on commission sales. The commission would be based on a sliding scale determined by the amount of ads sold. The business did not actually design the yearbook or take pictures, etc. Their business was simply sales, design of customer advertisements, promotion of ads, sales of the yearbooks, and customer service to the advertisers.

From this initial business venture, the company has grown and now offers sales and marketing services to all school-wide sales, most school club/organization sales, and feeder-school fundraising sales. The latest venture has been in marketing community activities.

Outcomes of the program include:

  • The business now markets and sells all schoolwide activities.
  • The business is now offering services in the feeder junior high and elementary schools.

Another business that has developed includes specialized gift sales. The company determines one to three items that would quickly sell at Christmas and/or graduation time and offer the items through the school and festivals being held during that time. The business works well with the historical society and helps with their promotion and sales—sometimes for a small commission and sometimes for civic responsibility. Results from those activities lead to other fundraising opportunities for students, such as cleaning and restoring a historical museum, working booths at one of the largest festivals in the area, etc. Several civic groups have recruited the services of the company to promote and sell various activities, such as the Redbud Festival, Antique Days, Vivian Christmas Festival, etc.

The business grew to include the sales and marketing of all school-sponsored activities. Students in the business develop and promote activities such as beauty pageants, suppers/dinners at school, dances, homecoming, and other specially designed activities. In addition to the promotion, the company handles all sales of tickets. A commission based upon sales is determined prior to the activity, which provides another learning experience for students. It also serves as a motivation for students.

The business also handles all school organization fundraising activities. They make presentations on the best type of fundraiser to have (candy, t-shirts, calendars, gifts, etc.), locate the appropriate vendor, and work out a better "deal" for the organization than the basic offer, and participate in the ordering, inventory, promotion, and collection for the fundraiser. The organization members actually do the selling of the product. When sales are slow, however, DECA members either help with sales or provide a new sales or motivational tool to stimulate members. A pre-determined sales commission is decided prior to each fundraising activity.

Terry Elmore is a marketing education teacher coordinator and DECA advisor. His background in marketing and strong rapport with civic and business community leaders have helped develop the sales company. North Caddo is a comprehensive high school located in a small town, serving surrounding townships. The visibility of the program and student involvement has secured community support. The teacher encourages and allows students to make the business decisions and determine growth of the company.

St. Tammany Parish Public School

Jeff Burgoyne
High School Teacher
St. Tammany Parish Public Schools
210 Riviera Drive
Slidell, LA 70460
Fax: (985) 892-9894
E-mail: jwbfhs@stpsb.k12.la.us

Focus: We serve a wide array of students in our secondary level Entrepreneurs in Action program. They include students from moderate to low-income families, are ethnically and socially diverse, and have varying academic level.

Geographic Area: Louisiana

Age Level: The students all attend public high schools, mainly ninth and tenth grade

Abstract: This program and line of research looks at the efficacy of web-based youth entrepreneurship education at the high school level. A particular effort is put forth to gain understanding into the dynamics of entrepreneurship education as it relates to the 'big picture' in education - Does web-based entrepreneurship education have an effect on the learning of children at the secondary educational level? And if so, how?

Entrepreneurship educational research is central to many of the ideals of renewed education in the United States, and encompasses aspects of cognitive process and child development, curricular reinvention, and systemic educational change. In this project, students will be exposed to particular "real-world" problem scenarios, and interactively over time, work to solve the problem(s). The small group/individual high school students will work with one another to research, analyze, synthesize, and formulate a plan to attack the main problems they encounter and identify in the case scenario. The utilization of web-based resources, including posted articles, content specific media presentations and on-line expert email interactions will become the key ingredients in gaining an understanding of the problems they face. The student groups will work over a set period of time to ultimately formulate business plans and create and deliver presentations on their learning.

The culminating projects and presentations will encompass every aspect of a well-conceived business plan. The projects are developed so as to promote multi-disciplinary, holistic interaction of traditional subject matters (i.e. math, science, and language arts) into a smooth and seamless educational transition. High School education in the United States tends to follow a discipline-specific curriculum, with students learning to multiply and divide only in math class, read in English classes, and studying about organisms only in science class. The project seeks to ascertain the benefits of holistic and inter-disciplinary education, emphasizing innovation, creativity, and problem-solving skills, through the use of entrepreneurship education.

Walker High School,
Green and White Cookie Site

Debra Wilson, DECA/Marketing Education Teacher Coordinator
Walker High School
P0 Box 249
12646 Burgess Ave.
Walker, LA 70785
Fax: 225-667-8657
E-mail: DKS003@aol.com

Focus: DECA/marketing education students, both coop and non-coop option; grade 10 entrepreneurship class; grades 11–12 marketing education classes. Also includes associate DECA members' participation in business.

Abstract: The business originated as an Otis Spunkmeyer cookie-sales business. However, the agreement with the school was that the only sales that could be made at school would be done after the lunch shift. Therefore, the company became a direct-sales company, with each student responsible for promotion of sales outside of the school for one full week during the school year.

Because of weekly promotions, the company quickly expanded to include balloon bouquets, cookie bouquets, stuffed animals, etc., to meet the demands of the customers. Within the first year, the company became a catering company for local business meetings. Students secured the business, produced the menu, set up the dessert table, delivered the products, and served when asked.

The company is now more than a cookie, catering, and gift-sales company. This year it is becoming a sales and marketing company for other organizations at the school. The company will promote organizations' sales, secure the product (t-shirts, candy, etc.), track the inventory, sell, and close the sales projects.

Unique features include:

  • Cookies are sold in the community by students through promotion activities (cookies are not sold in school).
  • Every student is responsible for a one-week promotion in which he/she is in total charge of the entire activity, from creating the idea/promotion, to production, to consumption.
  • Because of the off-campus sales, other businesses have emerged, including Catepug Company, Balloon I Cookie/Gift Bouquets, Delivery Service.

The expansion of the business within the first year made the business more than a cookie factory at the school. No cookies were sold at school at the beginning of the business. When the business did begin selling them at school, the selling period was limited to only about 10–15 minutes each day.

All students are assigned a week during the school year to develop their own promotion for the cookie company. They have to decide upon the promotion, theme, products, supplies, budget, ordering, vendors, etc. It is their responsibility to determine the cost of the finished product and make the sales. Sometimes, the students lose money on their project, and if they do, are responsible for helping the next student make enough profit to cover their loss.

This business made an impression on the community. Students were soon called upon to cater meetings at the mayor's office, the Chamber of Commerce, and school board meetings. This led to civic groups contacting the business, and from this, the business has grown. Delivery service is an added benefit, and one that the students added to the mix.

Westgate High School

Allison DeRouen, Teacher
Westgate High School
2305 Jefferson Island Road
New Iberia, LA 70560
E-mail: alderouen@iberia.k12.la.us
Web Page: http://www.iberia.k12.la.us/parents/teacherwebsites.htm

Focus: Entrepreneurship (class)

Age Level: High School grades 10th-12th

Abstract: Entrepreneurship was added to Westgate's curriculum in the spring of 2008. The program is definitely in the "infancy" stages. This semester will be the second time the school offers the class and it has quickly become a class that fills up fast!

The entrepreneurship course was designed to help students explore the world of business ownership. It requires a lot of hand-on work, including the writing of a business plan at the culmination of the class. The following are some of the other highlighted activities from the class:

  • Hot Shot Business - Students are introduced to the world of business online in this Disney simulation.
  • Virtual Online Simulation Team Challenge - Students compete online in teams to earn the most profit for an event. The challenged is hosted by Deloitte.
  • Inventions/Patents - Students learn about the patent process and then develop an invention. Students conduct a patent search for their invention and create a prototype of their invention.
  • The Cookie Factory - Students create a completely new cookie to introduce to the market. They will develop a product line around their new cookie, advertise their product, and design a factory plan.
  • Business Plan - Students write a business plan for either their invention or for a service/product that interest them.

Westgate is a large, non-title one school in an area of south central Louisiana that has seen tremendous economic growth in the past few years. The entrepreneurship class began with an idea I had to bring experiential learning into the classroom. At the time I was teaching financial math and much of the material reminded me of parts of an entrepreneurship class I took in college. I saw how students were learning different aspects of business in their class but it was never all put together. I thought it would be awesome to have a class that brought all aspects of business together and give students an experience that could open up an opportunity for their future. I felt that an entrepreneurship class would meet that vision.

I brought my vision to our Principal in charge of curriculum and before long; Entrepreneurship was added as a class! This semester is only the second time I teach the class yet it has already inspired students. I am currently working with a student from my first class to patent and refine the manufacturing process for an invention she came up with as a result of being in my class.

I felt it was very important to teach students about businesses that stimulate the local economy. As a result we did a unit on inventions in which all students had to develop an invention and create a prototype of their invention. This student had an incredible idea that could possibly have a huge impact on that particular industry. This student is a senior and has decided to major in International Business in college and has a huge desire to see her invention become a viable business for her future. I am so excited just thinking of the possibilities she will have as she goes off to college and gains greater business knowledge to see her product into a business.

This semester, I have a student whose family owns two local clothing stores. He has expressed his desire to expand and open up his own shop when he graduates next year but lacks the confidence in himself to be out on his own. I feel this class will be exactly what he will need! He will be writing a business plan, which will greatly help him to focus his ideas and bring everything together. It might just be the confidence boost he will need to be successful.

With all the excitement surrounding this entrepreneurship class, I realize that I still have a lot to learn as teacher. I want this class to be effective, inspiring, and provide students with an opportunity to change their future. It has been awesome to see how students that do not like school take interest in this class. I feel entrepreneurship is going to be a huge part of a successful future and by exposing students to that in school; we are increasing the opportunity for success.

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