This introductory entrepreneurship course teaches the entrepreneurial mindset (e.g., opportunity recognition, innovation, self-reliance, comfort with risk) alongside traditional business development skills (e.g., market research, competitive analysis, financial analysis, accounting). Students create original business plans, either individually or with a partner, and pitch in a series of competitive events for the chance to earn investment and prizes. This course is aligned to the Common Career Technical Core Standards for Business Management and Administration and the National Content Standards for Entrepreneurship Education.
Course Requirements and Recommendations
- Grades 7–12
- Full-year course implementation
- Pre-requisite: Suggested NFTE’s World Series of Innovation or NFTE Venture
NFTE Career-Readiness Measures and Certification
Student career readiness is measured on the three dimensions that the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) utilizes to evaluate career readiness:
- Academic: Business plan and pitch assessed through teacher and judge rubrics
- Employability: Entrepreneurial mindset evaluated through performance tasks, NFTE Pitch Competition, and NFTE’s Entrepreneurial Mindset Index (EMI), a formative assessment of students’ noncognitive skills
- Industry: Certiport-aligned quarterly exams
Student Pitch Competition
- Students create an original business plan, individually or with a partner. Students prepare and pitch for prize money.
- Top teams move on to regional competitions, with a chance to qualify for NFTE’s National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge.
- Volunteer business plan coaches work with students to refine their business plans.
- Expert judges provide feedback and evaluation during student business plan competitions.
- Guest speakers provide a critical link to real-world business insights.
NFTE’s Entrepreneurial Teacher Corps: Professional Development and Benefits
- Intensive face-to-face curriculum training (“NFTE U”), leading to Certified Entrepreneurship Teacher (CET) certificate
- Quarterly in-person Professional Learning Communities
- Monthly Professional Development Webinars
- Model Teacher Challenge Competition and other leadership opportunities
- Annual Teacher Summit
- Online access to all instructional and training materials through NFTE Digital Classroom
- Other Support Services
Units of Learning
- Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset
Students learn the value of entrepreneurship to the economy, characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, how to be entrepreneurial within established organizations, and how entrepreneurship can help address social challenges.
- Opportunity Recognition and Market Analysis
Students learn the distinction between a business idea and a business opportunity, and how to evaluate opportunities using market research and data analysis.
- Competitive Analysis
Students explore the concepts of supply and demand and direct and indirect competition, and they learn how to develop competitive pricing and a competitive advantage.
- Delivering Value to Customers
Students identify a target market, develop an understanding of their customer needs, and learn how to deliver and communicate value to customers.
- Business Model
Students learn about channels of distribution, intellectual and human resources, business operations, and various business legal structures.
- Financial and Expense Management
Students develop models related to cost of doing business, expense management, revenue streams, and sales projections, as they explore business financing options and how to use financial analysis.
- Operating the Business
Students examine best practices for managing the business, record-keeping, and accounting, while learning about how government regulations and taxes influence business.
- Growing the Business
Students examine various strategies for planning for business growth and expanding operations, including recruiting and training staff as well as franchising and licensing options.
- Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset