JA Be Entrepreneurial (Creative Problem Solving)®
JA Be Entrepreneurial is a reimagined, modular program that teaches students about the mindset and the skills needed for success by aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators who add value to any organization. Students completing all three modules use Design Thinking, a problem-solving approach, to create business ideas. Students also learn to transform their ideas into concise, effective, and actionable one-page business plans.
In the JA Creative Problem Solving module, students learn and apply design thinking, an innovative process for problem solving used by entrepreneurs (and intrapreneurs) to brainstorm customer-centric ideas. This process focuses on the user needs and experience through the creation of empathy models, problem statements, high-level solutions, prototypes, and testing plans in order to validate a design solution.
JA Be Entrepreneurial is part of the JA Entrepreneurship Pathway. Participating students will have the opportunity to compete in a new national virtual competition, JA Social Innovation Challenge, which provides a platform for them to share their innovative ideas for improving their communities and to compete for national honors.
• The program is a blended model that includes teacher-led content, volunteer-led opportunities, and self-guided content to support flexible implementation options.
• There are a series of three core modules, with each module comprising multiple 45-minute sessions.
• Modules can be offered together or as stand-alone experiences to meet the diverse needs of educators and students.
• Each module offers a culminating, self-guided project for students to create an artifact that allows them to apply what they have learned.
• Within a module, some sessions and activities are required for standard implementation. Other sessions are optional to meet additional requirements, such as eligibility for the competition.
|Pillars of Student Success || Entrepreneurship: || Financial-Literacy: || Work-Readiness: |
|Program Implementation ||Program Grade-Level |
|Classroom-Based ||High School |
|Program Concepts ||Program Skills |
| || |
Identifying the Problem
Students are oriented to problem/solution thinking practices and introduced to the Design Thinking process of creative problem solving. They explore the first step (Empathize) that teaches them to look at problems as human-centered, from the customer's perspective.
Students focus on the second and third steps of the Design Thinking process (Define and Ideate). They summarize the root cause of the issue in a problem statement and then use brainstorming techniques to generate viable ideas as solutions.
Prototyping the Solution
Students use rapid prototyping techniques to create an inexpensive model of their solution for customer review and feedback. This process teaches the importance of keeping customers involved in the process without large investments of time or money.
Testing the Solution
Students devise testing plans to validate the design and function of their prototyped ideas with customer participants. User testing emphasizes the importance of ongoing improvement cycles in the Design Thinking model.
Applying Design Thinking (Optional, Self-Guided)
Students complete a cumulative Design Thinking project to demonstrate comprehension and execution of the creative problem-solving process.