4-H Entrepreneurship projects- Part 3

Advanced entrepreneurship 4-H projects and judging.

This is the final of three articles by Michigan State University Extension that focuses on 4-H entrepreneurship projects with suggestions for judging and evaluation. Part one focused on the beginner youth/project; part two focused on the intermediate youth/project and this article focuses on advanced youth/project. An advanced project is appropriate for a 4-H member that has three or more years of experience and is ready to dive deeper into entrepreneurship.

Advanced Members/Projects
This project focuses on the business plan part of entrepreneurship. A display of the highlights of the business plan that can be used when trying to raise funds to start the business makes a good advanced project.  The National 4-H Curriculum entitled BE THE “e” has a complete chapter related to writing a business plan.

Judging Criteria
For this project, youth will summarize all of their activity up to this point and then develop a business plan with supporting documents. The following criteria may be used to judge or evaluate the project:

  1. Does the plan flow from one section to another?  Are all of the required sections included?
  2. Has the youth clearly identified his/her market audience?
  3. Is there a marketing plan in focus that identifies the unique aspects of the product or service and how those unique elements will be used to approach the target market?
  4. Has the youth identified the amount of money and other resources needed to start the business and where to get those resources?
  5. Has the youth developed and supported a realistic pricing model?
  6. Is the overall plan logical, well-written with proper grammar and punctuation, and clear?
  7. What additional information has the youth added to the plan such as market surveys, census data, a list of anticipated problems and how those might be resolved, etc.?

Judging Hints
You may wish to use local professionals from the financial industry who review business plans as your review panel.  You may even want to consider adding a verbal presentation delivered by the youth to the panel. 

Michigan 4-H Youth Development has many other resources for entrepreneurship. To see young people in action that are working their way through entrepreneurship projects, you may also wish to explore the Generation E Institute.

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