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Business Education | High School

Entrepreneurship and Small Business Certification: What Is It & How Do You Prepare Students?

April 22nd, 2021 | 5 min. read

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Many business education teachers are looking for new certification options to set their students up for success post-graduation. 

As a business education curriculum provider, teachers often ask us for recommendations on certifications that other teachers incorporate in their programs.

One certification we hear about from high school business teachers is the Entrepreneurship and Small Business (ESB) certification from Certiport.

In this article, we’ll answer the two most common questions teachers ask about the Entrepreneurship and Small Business certification:

  1. What do students need to know for the Entrepreneurship and Small Business certification?
  2. How do I prepare students for the Entrepreneurship and Small Business certification?

Understanding these aspects of the ESB certification will help you decide whether it’s a good fit for your business education program.

1. What Do Students Need to Know for the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Certification?

esb certification exam domains

The Entrepreneurship and Small Business certification was developed to ensure tomorrow’s business leaders have the tools they need for success in a challenging and competitive business world. 

The exam tests candidates on their understanding of the foundational principles surrounding entrepreneurship and small business. 

The ESB certification exam includes 45 questions across six domains:

  1. The Entrepreneur
  2. Opportunity Recognition
  3. Starting a Business
  4. Business Operations
  5. Marketing & Sales
  6. Financial Management

Each domain includes key objectives that indicate what knowledge and skills students need for exam success. 

Let’s dive into the details of each of these domains and key objectives:

Domain 1. The Entrepreneur

The Entrepreneur domain tests students on four key objectives: 

  • Identify the characteristics of entrepreneurs
  • Given a scenario including a self assessment outcome, identify the strengths, weaknesses, and risk tolerance the self assessment identifies and how to compensate with services
  • Given a scenario, recognize a business opportunity
  • Identify the risks, benefits, opportunities, and drawbacks of being an entrepreneur

Domain 2. Opportunity Recognition

The Opportunity Recognition domain includes four key objectives: 

  • Identify the benefits and drawbacks of different types of opportunities (e.g., start a new business, buy an existing business, and buy a franchise)
  • Given a scenario, analyze the demand for the goods or service and opportunities in an environment
  • Given a scenario, identify the customers or potential customers for a business
  • Given a scenario, recognize a value proposition

Domain 3. Starting a Business

The Starting a Business domain tests candidates on five key objectives: 

  • Identify the purposes and value of a business plan
  • Identify the appropriate legal structure, benefits and drawbacks for different legal structures for a business
  • Given a scenario, identify different types of licenses and regulations that are required
  • Identify the benefits and drawbacks of various sources of start-up funding: Equity (friends/family, angels, venture), Debt (bank, credit cards, personal loans), and Grants (government, foundation, corporate)
  • Given a scenario, identify support that is available for the business on a local, state, and federal level
  • Identify the ethical practices and social responsibilities of a business
  • Identify potential exit strategies for a business

Domain 4. Business Operations

The Business Operations domain includes seven key objectives for students: 

  • Given a scenario, identify key positions and human capital needs (including compensation and benefits)
  • Given a scenario, determine whether work can be completed by the owner or whether employees or service providers are needed
  • Given a scenario, identify the taxes that are required
  • Given a scenario, identify intellectual property issues of trademarks, copyrights, and patents
  • Given a scenario, identify standard operating procedures (e.g., setup, conduct, internal controls, separation of duties)
  • Given a scenario, identify the factors that lead to sustainability
  • Given a scenario, identify milestones as part of a growth strategy

Domain 5. Marketing and Sales

The Marketing and Sales domain will tests candidates on four key objectives: 

  • Given a scenario, develop a sales strategy and identify characteristics of a successful sale
  • Given a scenario, identify and analyze the costs/benefits of finding customers
  • Given a scenario, identify how to retain customers and develop a relationship with repeat customers
  • Given a scenario, determine value and methods of communication including: web sites, brochures, social media, and advertising

Domain 6. Financial Management

The Financial Management domain includes seven key objectives: 

  • Given a scenario, interpret basic financial statements such as income statements and balance sheets
  • Given a scenario, identify the factors that influence credit ratings and the importance of a positive credit rating
  • Given a list of expenses, identify which are fixed versus variable
  • Given a scenario, identify the factors that impact the price to the customer
  • Given a scenario, identify and analyze cash flow including: accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory, and debt
  • Given a scenario, create a cash flow budget
  • Given a scenario, identify the break-even point for the business

2. How to Prepare Students for the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Certification

prepare students for the entrepreneurship and small business exam

Now that you know what’s on the Entrepreneurship and Small Business certification exam, your next question is likely: 

How can I ensure my students have the knowledge and skills needed to earn the ESB certification?

GMetrix offers performance-based assessment and test preparation materials to help your students prepare for the ESB certification. 

These test prep materials make a great addition to an existing business education curriculum.

However, test prep materials won’t help you build a comprehensive curriculum or actually teach the information.

That’s why teachers use a combination of test prep materials along with a more robust curriculum like our Business&ITCenter21 curriculum system.

Business&ITCenter21 is used by thousands of teachers like you to save time with planning and grading while preparing students for their future careers.

It contains more than 600 hours of curriculum content to help you teach a wide variety of skills and concepts such as communication, professionalism, digital citizenship, public speaking, job seeking skills, and more.

To find out if the Business&ITCenter21 would be a good addition to your classroom, dive into the full catalog of curriculum modules to learn more:

Explore the Business&ITCenter21 Catalog