JA It's My Business!® - Blended Model

JA It's My Business! Blended Model provides middle school students an opportunity to experience the initial steps of a business startup. New program content 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:

  • Develop a business startup from its ideation, innovation, and market research through its design and prototyping.
  • Pitch their new business to potential funders.

The program targets students in grades six, seven, and eight for either Classroom-Based or JA AfterSchool implementation. It is composed of six 45-minute sessions that are volunteer-led. A 15-minute optional extension activity for each session is provided for use in after-school implementation. The program is delivered online to students through the JA Learning Platform.

JA programs 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
JA AfterSchool Middle School
Program Concepts Program Skills
Business, Charitable, Community-oriented, Consumer feedback, Design, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurial characteristics, Funding, Innovation, Innovative, Investor, Market, Market Research, Need, Passionate, Persistent, Persuasive, Pitch, Presentation Visuals, Product, Product Sketches, Prototype, Risk-taker, Self-confident, Self-motivated, Service, Social entrepreneur, Socially responsible, Speaking skills, Story, Surveys, Target market, Team-player, Types of survey questions Analyze an example performance, Analyze data from a variety of media sources, Applying terms, Brainstorming, Collect data, Communicating information through design, Creating a model, Creative thinking, Deduction and logical reasoning, Empathy, Evaluating alternatives, Group brainstorming, Group presentation, Group work, Labeling an illustration, Listening, Memory recall and matching, Presentation planning, Presenting ideas, Problem-solving, Processing data from media, Self-evaluation, Synthesize data, Team work

Program Sessions

Session One: Entrepreneurs

Students will be able to define entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship. Through hands-on activities, students identify entrepreneurial characteristics and recognize strengths and areas of potential growth.

Session Two: Market and Need

Students will be able to define market and need. Through a brainstorming activity, students will be able to describe the importance of identifying market and need when entrepreneurs develop new product ideas.

Session Three: Innovative Ideas

Students learn the process for creative idea generation, from brainstorming to defending and selecting an idea. Students will be able to recognize creativity and innovation as necessary entrepreneurial skills for starting a business.

Session Four: Market Research

Students discuss the importance of market research in the product development process. Through hands-on activities, students describe multiple types of survey questions.

Session Five: Design and Prototype

Students represent a product idea and its features by using rough sketches and drawings. Students recognize sketches as an important first step in the prototype process.

Session Six: Seek Funding

Students discuss the elements that make a strong pitch presentation to potential investors. Students work together to create and deliver a product pitch for potential funding.