Skip to main content

«  View All Posts

Business Education | Entrepreneurship

What is Version 2 of the Entrepreneurship and Small Business (ESB) Certification?

October 12th, 2021 | 7 min. read

Brad Hummel

Brad Hummel

Coming from a family of educators, Brad knows both the joys and challenges of teaching well. Through his own teaching background, he’s experienced both firsthand. As a writer for iCEV, Brad’s goal is to help teachers empower their students by listening to educators’ concerns and creating content that answers their most pressing questions about career and technical education.

Print/Save as PDF

To help students stand out and be successful, many business education teachers are turning to new certification options.

As a provider of business education curriculum, educators often ask AES for recommendations on certifications other teachers integrate into their programs.

The Entrepreneurship and Small Business (ESB) certification offered by Certiport is one popular certification business teachers like you have shared with us.

In March 2021, Certiport released an updated version of the ESB exam, called ESB V.2. If you're like other business teacher, you may be confused about ESB V.2 and concerned about preparing your students for success on the new assessment.

In this article, we’ll answer three questions about version 2 of the Entrepreneurship and Small Business certification:

  1. What is ESB V.2, and how is it different from the original ESB certification?
  2. What do students need to know for the ESB V.2 certification?
  3. How do I prepare students for version 2 of the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Certification?

Understanding these facets of the ESB V.2 certification will help you evaluate if it’s the right fit for your business education courses.

1. What is ESB V.2 and How is it Different from the Original ESB Certification?

entrepreneurship-small-business-certification-version2 (1)

Certiport regularly provides updates to its exams, including the Entrepreneurship and Small Business certification. In 2021, Certiport released ESB V.2 as a significant update to the ESB assessment.

Version 2 of the Entrepreneurship and Small Business certification provides simplicity and clarity to the criteria of the original ESB certification. 

For instance, the original version ESB test included criteria in six objective domains and the new version tests students on four domains.

In the Exam Objectives for ESB V.2, Certiport has also added additional sub-criteria within each domain to better define the material students need to know for the test.

Overall, the Entrepreneurship and Small Business certification continues to test students on their understanding of some of the most important aspects of starting and running a business.

In addition, the ESB V.2 is part of a new Master Certification in Entrepreneurship.

What is the Master Certification in Entrepreneurship?

The Master Certification is designed for students who want training in entrepreneurial skills and experience in problem-solving and innovation methods.

To earn the Master Certification in Entrepreneurship, students must complete two certifications:

  • Entrepreneurship and Small Business Certification Version 2 (ESB V.2)
  • Intuit Design for Delight Innovator Certification

Learners interested in this Master Certification can take the examinations in either order.

Note: Students need to take the ESB V.2 to qualify for the Master Certification in Entrepreneurship. Students who take the original version of the Entrepreneurship and Small Business certification are not eligible for the Master Certification.

Will Certiport Continue to Offer the Original ESB Certification?

Although Certiport is offering both the ESB (original version) and ESB V.2 certifications right now, teachers and students are expected to migrate to ESB V.2 in the near future.

Certiport intends the second version of ESB to replace the original certification test, which will be retired in July 2022.

For this reason, teachers who haven’t already started preparing their students for the Entrepreneurship and Small Business certification should focus on the testing criteria for ESB V.2.

2. What Do Students Need to Know for the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Version 2 Certification?

entrepreneurship-small-business-certification-version2 (2)

The Entrepreneurship and Small Business certification is designed to equip students with the skills, knowledge, and understanding they need to succeed in a changing business world.

Like the original version of the ESB, version 2 tests students on their comprehension of the foundational concepts of entrepreneurship and small business.

The ESB V.2 certification exam includes 42 questions from four domains. Students have 50 minutes to complete the test.

The four domains are of the ESB exam are:

  1. Entrepreneurial and Small Business Concepts
  2. Marketing and Sales
  3. Production and Distribution
  4. Business Financials

Each domain includes key objectives that identify the overarching skills and content competencies students need to succeed on the assessment.

Here, we’ll take a closer look at each of the ESB V.2 domains and key objectives:

Domain 1. Entrepreneurial and Small Business Concepts

The Entrepreneurial and Small Business Concepts domain assesses learners on five essential subdomains:

1.1 Identify the foundational concepts of entrepreneurship and small business ownership

  • Define entrepreneurship and small business
  • Classify types of businesses
  • Identify various legal structures of a business
  • Identify roles and responsibilities within a business
  • Define business compensation structures
  • Define business life cycle stages
  • Identify elements of the design thinking process

1.2 Identify knowledge and skills of a successful entrepreneur

  • Identify characteristics of an entrepreneurial mindset
  • Identify the risks, benefits, opportunities, and drawbacks of being an entrepreneur

1.3 Recognize potential business opportunities

  • Identify characteristics of a business opportunity
  • Determine the viability of a business opportunity

1.4 Identify the elements of a business plan

  • Identify the purposes and value of a business plan, pitch deck, and lean canvas
  • Define the key components of a business plan and pitch deck

1.5 Identify intellectual property concepts

  • Differentiate between trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights, and patents
  • Identify the value, risks, and guidelines associated with using licensed materials

Domain 2. Marketing and Sales

The Marketing and Sales domain iterates three main objectives:

2.1 Interpret market research

  • Define target market, value proposition, and pricing
  • Distinguish between primary and secondary data
  • Evaluate competition
  • Complete a SWOT analysis

2.2 Analyze aspects of marketing processes

  • Identify marketing platforms
  • Apply marketing methods
  • Analyze market reactions and sales data
  • Analyze customer acquisition costs and retention costs
  • Identify elements of a marketing plan

2.3 Identify sales channel strategies

  • Identify elements of a sales process
  • Identify key characteristics of digital and physical sales channel
  • Define various types of sales channels
  • Identify the role of customer service and support in sales strategies

Domain 3. Production and Distribution

The Production and Distribution domain evaluates students on skills and knowledge across three main criteria:

3.1 Identify the value of a Minimum Viable Product

  • Define elements of product/market fit hypothesis
  • Define performance/quality criteria

3.2 Identify supply chain and production processes

  • Identify the knowledge and materials needed to create a product or service
  • Identify production options for digital and physical products and services
  • Identify quality control testing processes for digital and physical products and services, including adherence to government regulatory and safety requirements

3.3 Identify distribution channels

  • Identify types and factors in the selection of distribution channels
  • Identify differences between direct distribution and fulfillment services

Domain 4. Business Financials

The Business Financials domain tests students' analytical skills in two areas:

4.1 Analyze business financials

  • Determine the selling price of a product or service
  • Interpret basic financial statements such as income sheets and balance sheets
  • Differentiate between fixed and variable costs
  • Analyze a company's cash flow
  • Calculate the ROI of a product or service

4.2 Analyze funding options

  • Determine operating budget and start-up costs
  • Identify various funding options
  • Identify requirements for obtaining funding

3. How Do I Prepare Students for Version 2 of the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Certification?

entrepreneurship-small-business-certification-version2 (3)

Now that you’ve learned what is on the new version of the Entrepreneurship and Small Business certification test, you are probably wondering:

How can I ensure my students have the knowledge and skills needed to earn the ESB V.2 certification?

One way you can prepare students for the ESB V.2 exam is implementing the GMetrix CertPREP practice tests offered by Certiport.

These test prep options are a great way to supplement your overall business education curriculum and get students ready for the ESB exam.

However, test prep materials alone won’t help you teach the content necessary for students to succeed on the assessment.

Certiport recommends that students have at least 150 hours of instruction before taking the ESB V.2. This is why teachers combine test prep options with a comprehensive business curriculum, such as Business&ITCenter21.

Business&ITCenter21 includes over 600 hours of curriculum and is used by thousands of teachers like you. As a digital curriculum system, Business&ITCenter21 helps you teach a broad spectrum of skills essential to business education while saving you time with planning and grading.

To learn more about Business&ITCenter21 and find out if it could be a good fit for your classroom, explore the entire catalog of curriculum modules here:

Explore the Business&ITCenter21 Catalog