Starting your own business in high school (or before)

The growth of new small businesses has exploded since 2021, and 70% of the net increase of jobs has come from small businesses. Yet, the tech industry and many other sectors have been laying off in large chunks, and having a college degree may not have the intended outcomes as growing numbers of large employers have indicated that they aren’t looking for new hires with degrees, or in some cases specifically looking for those that do NOT have a 4-year degree.

So how do you help prepare your students for their future careers? One option is to help them learn the skills to start and run a business, while they are still in school.

Our Entrepreneurship Program is designed to give students the training and experience they need to successfully start and run their own business, without becoming one of the 20% of new businesses that fail each year. And they can do this while still in high school, or even before. And it can be done in as little as 2 years.

The program includes all the basic tools that are needed to get started, along with training for the parents as well. The different pieces of the program are offered throughout the year and can generally be taken in any order.

They include

Additionally, we offer several other courses that are key skills courses and are generally offered for younger students, in grades 5-8:

  • TECH101 - Tech Readiness – Learn the basics of computers, include skills in online safety
  • TECH102 – Office Software – Learn how to properly use standard office software to create reports, letters, resumes, and other standard education and business documents.

All the BUS classes and the ENT101 class can be taken in any order. Once you have completed all of those you can then take the ENT102 and actually launch your business, with the support of instructors and other business owner mentors that will help you keep your business going.
When students complete the full program they will have their own functioning and fully legal business that they can run throughout their high school years and beyond (if they desire).

Students can begin taking the BUS courses as early as 8th grade (earlier with instructor permission), and they can launch their business as early as their 9th grade/freshman year. That would give them up to 3 years of running their business by the time they graduate from high school – allowing them to save-up money for college or launch into adulthood with a career that they control, without the need or expense of pursuing a college degree. And if they pursue a career in the business world where they are not the business owner, they will have great skills to allow them to move ahead of their peers.

Once the course program is over and students are running their business, there is on-going support through our Entrepreneurship Group for both students and parents. This group includes a private chat group, where all students who have finished the program and started their business can connect with others who have done the same. Additionally, special small-group topic coaching and mentorship is available on-going in the areas of Marketing, Finance, Management led by instructors from the Entrepreneurship program as well as those who have been running their own businesses for a while. Special chat groups and events are also available for parents of students running their businesses started during the course program.

Most home-school students are significantly ahead of their public (and sometimes private) school peers. With this experience of starting and running their own business, your students will be at the top of their peer group and be able to control their future career for many years to come.

Course Locations and Schedule

Courses in this program are held either in-person or on-line, depending on the needs of the students who wish to start their own business. Each course will be offered at least once in a 3-year cycle (more often if there is enough interest). This will allow any student to begin the process and have completed it in at least 3 years.

Tech Business Specific Course

For those students who are interested in starting their own tech-related business, we have several specialized courses that will prepare the student to start their own tech (software) business during high school.

  • TECH103 – Intro to Programming & Electronics – in this introductory course you will learn how to build electronic circuits and write basic programs that can control these devices
  • TECH 201 – Real-World Programming – Learn how to develop real-world software for businesses and organizations using industry-standard programming languages
  • TECH 202 – Web Design – After you have built your own web site, with this course you can learn to create your own custom web designs or develop web designs for your clients

Other Courses Recommended

In addition to the courses listed here, it is strongly recommended that all students in the program complete the following general courses:

  • Algebra I/II
  • Geometry, Calculus/Statistics/Data Analytics – strongly recommended
  • Communications
  • Civics / Government

Program/Course Scheduling & Completion

The entire program can be completed in 2-3 years following one of our Pathways.