JA It's My Business!®

JA It's My Business!<sup>®</sup>
JA It's My Business! Blended Model provides middle school students an opportunity to learn how to turn an idea into a business. The program introduces students to the process of design thinking as a problem- solving process and provides an authentic entrepreneurial experience for students with each session building toward a product-pitch competition.

Following participation in the program, students will be able to:

  • Identify their own personal entrepreneurial characteristics.
  • Engage in the process of design thinking to empathize with a problem.
  • Develop a business startup from its ideation, innovation, and market research through its design and prototyping.
  • Pitch their new business idea to potential funders.

The program targets students in grades six, seven, and eight for either Classroom-Based or JA AfterSchool implementation. It consists of six 45-minutes sessions led by a volunteer with Additional Opportunities and 15-minute extension activities offered throughout. JA It's My Business! is offered as JA In a Day which is five 50 minute sessions in a single day.

All JA programs are designed to support the skills and competencies identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. JA programs also correlate to state standards in social studies, English, and mathematics, and to Common Core State Standards. 


Pillars of Student Success Entrepreneurship:  Financial-Literacy:  Work-Readiness: 
Program Implementation Program Grade-Level
Classroom-Based Middle School
Program Concepts Program Skills
Business, consumer feedback, design, entrepreneur, entrepreneurial characteristics, funding, innovation, innovative, investor, market, market research, need, product, passionate, persistent, persuasive, pitch, presentation visuals, product, product sketches, prototype, risk-taker, self-confident, self-motivated, service, speaking skills, story, surveys, target market, team player Analyze an example performance, analyze data from a variety of media sources, applying terms, brainstorming, collecting data, creating a model, creative thinking, communicating information through design, deduction, empathy, evaluating alternatives, group brainstorming, group presentation, group work, individual brainstorming, labeling an illustration, listening, logical reasoning, memory recall and matching, presenting ideas, problem solving, processing data from media, self-evaluation, synthesize data, teamwork

Program Sessions

Session One: Entrepreneurs

Students observe the relationship between entrepreneurs, their businesses, and the products and services they offer. They are introduced to well-known entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs and examine the characteristics that they share. Finally, they take an entrepreneurial characteristics inventory to assess their own entrepreneurial abilities and interests.

Session Two: Market and Need

Students identify markets and needs that entrepreneurial products and services answer. They examine young entrepreneurs who have successfully identified a market and need and then create a new product to meet that need. Students work in teams to brainstorm current needs within different product or service categories.

Session Three: Innovative Ideas

Students learn about generating innovative ideas, while keeping in mind market and need. They examine cutting-edge innovative new products before brainstorming their own product or service ideas. Working in teams, students use graphic organizers to capture brainstormed ideas.

Session Four: Design and Prototype

Students learn about product design and the prototype process. Each student creates a sketch of his or her product or service to show its features and then explains its purpose.

Session Five: Testing the Market

Students learn about the importance of obtaining market feedback about new product and service ideas. They examine types of survey questions and then develop their own. They then determine whether the survey provides useful feedback about the product.

Session Six: Seek Funding

Students complete their pitch deck and learn to deliver a pitch presentation with the intent of attracting investors. In a mock competition, teams pitch their product idea to a guest judge or judges who award the winning team(s) with ceremonial start-up funds.