Skip to Content

School-Based Enterprises



School-based enterprise 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 School-Based Enterprises

Many communities do not have the business and industry base to provide sufficient opportunities for students to gain work-based learning experiences. A school-based enterprise can fill that void.

The school-based enterprise 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 school-based enterprise, the student's career courses and academic courses integrate around the school-based enterprise.

Developing a school-based enterprise 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 school-based enterprise must be oriented and run by students. Teachers serve as advisors, but not chief executive officers.

Some school-based enterprises operate like regular small businesses, letting students apply the academic and career/technical content they have learned in school. A school-based enterprise can also give students real practice in entrepreneurship, accounting, budgeting, cash-flow management, marketing, inventory control, and business/industry/technical skills. Students in school-based enterprises develop skills in problem solving, communication, interpersonal relations, and learning how to learn in the context of work.

In the work-based continuum, school-based enterprises 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 .

Submit Your School Enterprise

Let us know about your enterprise:  Submit Your School Enterprise


Resource Section

MBA Research State’s Connection  To access MBA Research & Curriculum Center, log in or register for free tools, content, and resources for School-Based Enterprise (SBE). Registration is free for Iowa Educators.

Junior Achievement USA  Company ProgramⓇ Blended Model and Be EntrepreneurialⓇ programs incorporate entrepreneurship, business, and operations that align with School-Based Enterprises.

Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) 
     DECA - School-Based Enterprise certification program and guidelines.
     FBLA - National Entrepreneurship curriculum
     FCCLA - S.T.A.R. Entrepreneurship curriculum
     SkillsUSA - Professional SkillsUSA members can log in to the membership portal to access Entrepreneurship curriculum.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on May 27, 2020 at 10:46am.