JA Be Entrepreneurial®

JA Be Entrepreneurial® introduces students to the essential elements of a practical business plan and then challenges them to start an entrepreneurial venture while still in high school.

Students will learn about advertising, competitive advantages, financing, marketing, and product development.

The program is composed of seven sessions, each 45 minutes in length. The program is recommended for students in grades nine through 12. Materials are packaged in a self-contained kit that includes detailed session plans for the volunteer and materials for 32 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

Program Components

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

Session One: Introduction to Entrepreneurship

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

Session Objectives:

  • 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.

Session Objectives:

  • 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.

Session Objectives:

  • 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.

Session Objectives:

  • 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.

Session Objectives:

  • 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.

Session Objectives:

  • 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.

Session Objectives:

  • Compile entrepreneurial elements into a sample business plan

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

For additional information on this and all Junior Achievement programs, please visit