School-based enterprise (SBE) is a simulated or actual business conducted by a school. Students create and operate an economically viable venture that replicates a business. This is a learning experience that provides direct links between classroom learning and the world of work.
Rationale for SBEs
Many communities do not have the business and industry base to provide sufficient opportunities for students to gain work-based learning experiences. A SBE can fill that void.
The SBE should be designed to lead a student to a productive career, and the school programs of study must have the course capacity to provide the learning needed by the student to become successfully employed. In a SBE, the student's career courses and academic courses integrate around the SBE.
Developing a SBE can be a creative challenge to a school, department, teachers and students. Large-scale endeavors will probably need the input and assistance from more than one person to be successful. A collaborative agreement with a local business/industry or well organized advisory committees would be helpful. The SBE must be oriented and run by students. Teachers serve as advisors, but not chief executive officers.
Some SBEs operate like regular small businesses, letting students apply the academic and career/technical content they have learned in school. A SBE can also give students real practice in entrepreneurship, accounting, budgeting, cash-flow management, marketing, inventory control, and business/industry/technical skills. Students in SBEs develop skills in problem solving, communication, interpersonal relations, and learning how to learn in the context of work.
In the work-based continuum, SBEs focus on many of the skills needed to be successful in a workplace experience.
Laws and Regulations
Foods and beverages sold to students before school, during school, and 30 minutes after school are required to meet the USDA Smart Snacks Requirements. For questions about Smart Snacks, contact Carrie Scheidel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submit Your SBE
Let us know about your enterprise: Submit Your SBE
MBA Research and Curriculum Center's State’s Connection - Free to Iowa educators. Log in or register to access tools, content and resources for SBEs.
Career and Technical Student Organizations:
- DECA - Offers an SBE certification program and guidelines.
- Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda - Offers individual and team competitive events in entrepreneurship.
- Family, Career and Community Leaders of America's STAR Events - Competitive events in which members compete at the region/district, state and national level and are recognized for proficiency and achievement in chapter and individual projects, leadership skills and career preparation.
- SkillsUSA - Professional SkillsUSA members can log in to the membership portal to access entrepreneurship curriculum.