Create Your Own Small Business

Let's Talk Science

How does this align with my curriculum?

Students will learn the fundamental skills and attitudes needed to set up and run a small business.

Summary

  • Students will recognize that starting one’s own business is a potential career path
  • Students will develop oral and written communication skills
  • Students will develop financial literacy and collaboration skills through the development of a simple business plan

Setting the Stage

Students in middle years should be beginning to think about their future career paths. Exposure to multiple possibilities will equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed decisions and viable plans. Learning about running a small business will help them develop tools and skills they need to find personal success in a variety of life and work paths. 

In this lesson, students will identify small business ideas that may be of interest, talk with a small business owner and develop a simple business plan.

Materials & Preparation

  • Student Small Business Ideas Reproducible (1 per student) [Google doc] [PDF] - provide as a paper or e-copy
  • Questions for a Small Business Owner Reproducible (1 per class or 1 per student depending on implementation) [Google doc] [PDF] - provide as a paper or e-copy
  • Student Business Plan Reproducible (1 per student or small group) [Google doc] [PDF] - provide as a paper or e-copy

Note: Before Part 2 of the lesson, connect with a small business owner from your community who can speak to the class either in person or via a teleconference.

What To Do

Part 1: Brainstorming

  • Teachers could lead students in a discussion about how they earn and spend money. Questions for discuss could include:
    • Do you earn money at home? If so, what for?
    • Do you earn money outside your home? If so, what for?
    • Do you spend money you earn yourself? Or only money that is given to you?
    • What do you spend money on?
  • Students can then brainstorm ideas for increasing their personal income through starting a small business. Teachers could provide students with the Student Small Business Ideas Reproducible to help get students’ thinking started. 
  • Once students have hit on a business idea that excites them, they could begin to think about the activities involved, the hours they would work, the people they would serve, etc. before Part 2. This could be done individually or with a partner. 
  • Students should also think about the skills, interests and knowledge they have that would help them be successful in a business venture.

Part 2: Meeting a Small Business Owner

  • Before this part of the lesson, teachers will have connected with a local small business owner who is willing to speak to the class.
  • As a class, use a question generation learning strategy such as a Question Matrix, to brainstorm questions that could be asked of a small business owner.
  • Before students begin to develop questions, the teacher should review with them the name of the business, what the person sells and any other relevant background information that might help students generate questions.
  • If students need additional support, questions are provided on the Questions for a Small Business Owner reproducible.
  • As a class, refine the questions on the Questions for a Small Business Owner reproducible in preparation for speaking with the small business owner. 
  • The teacher should also decide who will introduce the speaker, ask individual questions, and thank the speaker. Students should be provided with time to prepare for their parts before the speaker arrives. Students should also be provided with their own copies of the Questions for a Small Business Owner reproducible so that they can take notes while listening to the speaker.

Part 3: Creating a Business Plan

  • After meeting a business owner, teachers could lead a discussion with students about what they learned from the business owner. Students could discuss how these lessons might apply to their own business ideas. 
  • Students could then work either individually or in groups to further develop their own small business plans based on some of the ideas they came up with at the beginning of the lesson. Students will answer the questions on the Student Business Plan reproducible to plan for their goods or services, advertising, and budget. 
  • Students could present their business plans to their classmates. 

Extensions: 

  • Students could present their business plan to a panel of local business owners and or stakeholders to receive feedback and suggestions for improvement.
  • Students could choose one or more small business ideas to implement as a fundraiser.

Details

Additional Resources

Junior Achievement works in partnership with educators, volunteers and businesses to educate students about financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship.

In this series of videos from Crash Course, students learn the entrepreneurship skills to help them start and run a small business. 

CBC Biz Kids Story about four girls who started a jewelry company and won a youth entrepreneurship award

This article has tips and hints for kids wanting to start their own business.

Additional Resources

Junior Achievement works in partnership with educators, volunteers and businesses to educate students about financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship.

In this series of videos from Crash Course, students learn the entrepreneurship skills to help them start and run a small business. 

CBC Biz Kids Story about four girls who started a jewelry company and won a youth entrepreneurship award

This article has tips and hints for kids wanting to start their own business.

Assessment

  • Teachers could assess student engagement with the guest speaker based on discussion participation and notes taken on the Questions for a Small Business Owner reproducible.
  • Teachers could assess collaboration skills by observing students working together to brainstorm ideas and plan their own businesses. 
  • Teachers could use the Student Business Plan reproducible to assess students’ understanding of the factors involved in starting a small business. 

Assessment

  • Teachers could assess student engagement with the guest speaker based on discussion participation and notes taken on the Questions for a Small Business Owner reproducible.
  • Teachers could assess collaboration skills by observing students working together to brainstorm ideas and plan their own businesses. 
  • Teachers could use the Student Business Plan reproducible to assess students’ understanding of the factors involved in starting a small business. 

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