Entrepreneurship | Nebraska Division of Schooling



Youth individual entrepreneurship offers a student the opportunity to start a business from the initial start-up phase to full operation while being advised by a teacher at the school. This includes starting with an initial business idea, developing a business plan, actually getting started, and having full ownership. This activity can be a project for a class or a student organization. The activity is considered a paid experience as the student who actually starts a business receives income from selling a product or providing a service. Students take the risk of starting an entrepreneurial business with the expectation of making a profit or gaining additional knowledge and skills necessary to be successful as an entrepreneur.

It is a uniquely comprehensive way to prepare someone to understand all aspects of running a business and to learn how to be their own boss. Student entrepreneurship experience can also take the form of school-based businesses that students help set up and run.

Curricula that guide students through the process of creating business plans, working with local entrepreneurs and other community resources to plan and run businesses, or a combination of these activities are critical to success. Entrepreneurship can be conducted on or off-campus, but should be part of the school’s coursework to be considered for academic credit.


  • Provides opportunities for young people to start and run businesses of appropriate size and scope in which they are personally invested in ways that are meaningful to them.
  • Allows students to learn about and use community resources
  • Provides an opportunity to apply academic knowledge such as accounting, records, and economics.
  • Supports the development of career readiness skills
  • Develops management and thinking skills that can be used throughout life in both employment and self-employment (entrepreneurship) including, but not limited to:
    • Product development
    • marketing
    • financing
    • recording
    • budgeting
    • Communication (oral, non-verbal, written)
    • Customer service
    • make decisions
    • Locate and use resources
    • Compliance with government regulations
  • Provides an opportunity to make money and connect with local and regional business communities
  • Reinforces the concept that successful entrepreneurs take calculated risks based on demographic research and relevant information.
  • Asks the youth to develop a plan for a company that takes into account its financial, marketing and operational aspects.
  • Uses an action-oriented curriculum that provides age-appropriate learning opportunities for which program managers / educators act as trainers or facilitators.
  • Improves creativity, innovation and problem solving skills
  • Raising awareness of the role of the entrepreneur in the economy
  • Increased awareness of social responsibility and the contribution of entrepreneurs to society and local, state and national economic vitality

Steps to plan and run an entrepreneurship program

  • Determine the purpose of the entrepreneurship program. Examples for this are:
    • Part of the subject of a particular CTE course;
    • A culminating project for a study program; or
    • An after school or summer school loan project.
  • Determine how instructions will be delivered in product development, marketing, advertising, financing, record keeping, budgeting, communication, customer service, decision making, resource location and use, and law and regulation compliance.
  • Assisting students in developing a business plan.
  • Determine what resources will be needed to support students.
  • Develop an agreement between the student, parents, CTE teacher, and school that includes:
    • Description of the entrepreneurship project / business ventures
    • List of skills to be developed through business experience
    • List of components of the business plan for the student to create, including:
      • Product / service to be made available
      • Proposed budget, including projected income and expenses
      • Plans to finance the company
      • Marketing plan for the company
  • Develop a tool or process to evaluate student learning and performance

Success factors

  • Provide a curriculum that aligns with the five business processes: discovery, concept development, procurement, updating, and harvest.
  • Use entrepreneurship as a real-world context to demonstrate the importance of academic skills, including math, communication, digital skills, technology, geography, history, and more.
  • Show the relationship between risk and reward in the entrepreneurial process as it occurs in the free enterprise system.
  • Provide opportunities for students to start and operate businesses of reasonable size and scope that they are personally invested in in ways that are important to them.
  • Reinforce the concept that successful entrepreneurs take calculated risks based on sound research and relevant information, including economic analysis.
  • Ask students to conduct a feasibility study to determine the viability of the start-up.
  • Encourage / challenge students to develop a comprehensive business plan that takes financial, marketing and operational aspects into account.
  • Generate an understanding of the many professional fields that entrepreneurial opportunities offer.
  • Emphasize the need to operate businesses in a legally, ethically, socially and environmentally responsible manner.
  • Demonstrate the place for entrepreneurship and innovation in for-profit, nonprofit, corporate and public sectors of the economy.
  • Facilitate the discovery process and provide coaching to guide students towards solutions to challenges in starting an entrepreneurial business.
  • Provide hands-on learning opportunities where students learn.
  • Curriculum and activities should include challenges with and without clear solutions.

Evaluation tool

Business Skills Checklist

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January 21, 2021 at 10:52 PM GMT

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