4-H Entrepreneurship projects – Part 1

Beginning entrepreneurship 4-H projects and judging.

According to BE THE “e,” the goal of an entrepreneurship project is to help 4-H members learn how to exploit a business opportunity. This will be the first of three articles that will focus on 4-H entrepreneurship projects and how to judge them. Part one will focus on the beginner youth/project; the second article will focus on the intermediate youth/ project and finally the advanced youth/project.

BE THE “e” is a National 4-H Curriculum that “will increase the knowledge and skills of youth to generate more quickly to a greater variety of different ideas for how to exploit a business opportunity and the ability to project a more extensive sequence of actions for entering business.”

BE THE “e” moves the 4-H member towards being able to find an opportunity and/or need, then determining what product or service might meet that need, and finally, to build a business around the opportunity. Michigan State University Extension encourages 4-H members to think about how their existing 4-H projects or other interests they have might be turned into a successful business.

Beginning members/projects

The beginning members/projects will start with idea development, which is a display illustrating how the youth identified an opportunity or need. Youth will identify who may already be responding to the identified need. Youth will also explore their skills and abilities as an entrepreneur and where they can get help.

Judging criteria

Through this project, the youth is to identify something that represents a business opportunity or need. He or she should be able to say why it represents an opportunity and then provide examples of who the competition might be. Evaluation or judging criteria may include:

1. Has the youth clearly defined the opportunity?

2. Has the youth supported his or her decision that this is an opportunity? Have they given their reasoning for the decision and if so, did they make a convincing argument?

3. Has the youth identified direct competitors? Has the youth identified indirect competition?

4. Has the youth identified help he or she may need and where to go to get that help?

Michigan 4-H Youth Development also has many other resources for entrepreneurship. Visit the Michigan 4-H website for further information.

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