The Young Entrepreneurs of Canada Association and Transitions Canada are working in partnership to develop a pan-Canadian project using PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs® which is presently in 26 school districts in British Columbia and all anglophone school districts in New Brunswick. The program will be reviewed by a Project Advisory Committee for recommended enhancements. An enhanced prototype will be piloted, in French and English, in multiple provinces and territories and U.S. states concurrently with the goal of developing an exemplary final product that can be used in schools across North America.
PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs® is a curriculum-based program that cultivates an entrepreneurial mindset in intermediate classrooms (Grades 4-8). Students explore their own passions, talents, and interests as they plan and implement their own real businesses.
Students have fun exploring the world of business with PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs®. They start out by conceptualizing product ideas. Then they make prototypes, complete market research and solicit feedback from others before finalizing their designs and making their products. They also develop business plans, get loans and create marketing materials.
Students showcase their achievements and make real sales at the Young Entrepreneur Show, an exciting event attended by all other students in the participating school. Teachers, parents, grandparents and special guests are also invited to attend.
Feedback from students, parents, and educators consistently shows a high level of engagement, even among individuals who have not responded well to traditional teaching methods. The process of taking their business from concept to reality teaches young people of all ability levels to set goals, organize, problem solve, focus, and work independently and as a team. The flexible learning model and extension activities make it easy for teachers to adapt and personalize content and pacing.
With PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs®, students take charge of their learning, make their own decisions, and are free to make mistakes. They also play an active role in assessment to enhance their successes as they move through the business planning process. This rigorous learning experience helps them gain confidence and acquire new skills that can be transferred to all areas of life.
Young entrepreneurs donate a portion of their earnings to a charity of their choice. This stimulates interest in important social issues and reinforces the message that everyone has an active role to play in the community.
Turnkey Resource Package
Classroom teachers enjoy facilitating PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs® and they can easily integrate it into different subject areas. The turnkey resource package includes:
A Comprehensive Teacher Manual: Featuring six primary learning modules with fun-packed activities and games, the teacher manual comes complete with step-by-step lesson plans, activity sheets and assessment tools.
Student-Focused Videos: A series of inspirational videos featuring young entrepreneurs in action makes it easy to introduce key topics in the classroom.
Business Planning Kits: These student workbooks are aligned with the lesson plans and used in classroom activities and with homework assignments. They contain questions, examples and tips to assist students with their plans.
Parent Information Packages: Designed to help parents coach their children with the project, this resource includes a breakdown of the learning modules, an overview of homework assignments and sample product ideas.
Educator Training: Online Teacher Tutorials offer practical tips to support implementation.
A minimum of two hours of class time are required each week and the program typically spans a six-week period. The resource package includes extension activities and suggestions for integrating into different aspects of the curriculum, so many teachers choose to devote additional time to the project. The approach can easily be adapted to meet classroom goals.
The program is also rich with opportunities for meaningful community involvement. A Volunteer Guide provides an overview of the program, suggested discussion topics, and tips for engaging students. Local entrepreneurs and business people can connect directly with students through dynamic extension activities that include pitch events and mentorships.
The trailer of Mindset Matters, a documentary on a PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs® deployment in a classroom in Surrey, B.C. can be viewed here.
Other Independent Research
Simon Fraser University has also completed independent research on the program. The corresponding results can be viewed in the following white paper, which can be downloaded below.
Expectation of Young Entrepreneurs P-CAG members
Be familiar with Young Entrepreneurs as currently used primarily in B.C. and N.B.
Come to P-CAG with suggestions for enhancements that could enhance Young Entrepreneurs’ impact on their constituents.
Agree with fellow P-CAG members on detailed specifications for a new Pan-Canadian Pilot Prototype that Transitions Canada will develop in partnership with the Young Entrepreneurs of Canada Foundation (the Foundation).
Identify strategic pilot sites in their constituency and schedule training for pilot site facilitators. Transitions Canada will partner with the Foundation to develop training materials and procedures and deliver a master trainer with all materials required by pilot sites. Project partners will ensure that at least two excellent candidates from each pilot will participate in one day of in-person training.
Transitions Canada will partner with the Foundation to provide on-going support to pilot sites including additional virtual training as required.
Project partners will ensure that the Young Entrepreneurs pilot prototype is delivered with fidelity. They will encourage additional interested parties and potential user organizations to visit pilot sites, including local media. They will encourage pilot students, teachers, parents, administrators, and others use the online, interactive, qualitative survey tools provided to contribute suggestions for further enhancements.
Prior to convening a post-pilot in-person P-CAG meeting Transitions Canada and the Foundation will share a summary of pilot feedback with P-CAG members, including tentative recommendations for further enhancements.
An in-person P-CAG meeting will be convened to agree on further product enhancements and to explore product and support service pricing. Transitions Canada is a registered not-for-profit organization. The Foundation is a registered charity. No sales force will be required. Therefore, project partners will be agreeing on ongoing cost- recovery pricing to assure sustainability, not profits. Participants will also explore promotion and implementation tools and strategies that project partners may choose to use.
Transitions Canada and the Foundation will make further enhancements agreed by P- CAG and develop marketing and implementation tools and strategies project partners may use. The Canada Wordmark, Transitions Canada and Young Entrepreneurs Foundation of Canada logos will appear on all product materials. Project partners may add their own branding to marketing and implementation tools.