Business Opportunities for Self-Starters (BOSS) Program

How do you get young high school students to want to study business and economics? Get them involved in the Business Opportunities for Self-Starters (BOSS) program. The BOSS program is a 54-hour curriculum developed to teach high school students how to create a business plan. As students create their individual plans, they are inspired and encouraged to research a variety of areas of business such as possible locations, pricing of advertising and promotion, management and personnel, manufacturing and many other important resources. Students are introduced to community leaders such as the Chamber of Commerce, Regional Economic Development, Small Business Development Corporation, financial institutions and insurance agencies. Students practice elevator speeches to promote their idea and give a "Shark Tank" type presentation to a group of judges.

The BOSS program is administrated through the Center for Entrepreneurship. High school teachers go through a three-day training program to learn how to successfully teach the BOSS program. They then set up the BOSS program in their school, assisted by university faculty. Some regional high schools have even utilized the BOSS program in their high school curriculum. And some schools have utilized the BOSS program as a summer camp for students. Instructors have shared that some students' GPAs have increased as a result of learning how to apply business research in the BOSS program.

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