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Purdue Center for Economic Education

Classroom Business Enterprise Program

Purdue Center for Economic Education

The Classroom Business Enterprise (CBE) Program gives K-8 students the opportunity to operate a real business in their classrooms. Students decide what good or service to produce, gather the necessary productive resources, then market, produce, and sell their product. Teachers can easily tie CBE activities back to the academics standards in math, reading, and social studies.

This is a high motivation program for both students and teachers, and it can be especially valuable for those students who may struggle in school.  Mintonye Elementary CBE teacher Barbara Tilley noted, “It was inspiring to see students who struggle academically take the lead with a hands-on project.  It warmed my heart to measure learning in so many real world examples.”

Teacher participants receive:

  • a full day of training from Purdue Center staff and practicing teachers

  • reimbursement of up to $200 for supplies and materials needed to start their classroom business

  • sub-pay reimbursement of up to $80

  • a step-by-step workbook, Economics and Entrepreneurship: Operating a Classroom Business in the Elementary and Middle School

  • both Herschel's World of Economics DVDs and

  • a set of 22 KidsEcon posters

  • breakfast and lunch

Classroom sales table in action

Praise from Teachers

“CBE allows for hands-on, real world application, so the students really learn economic principles.”  Christy Harshbarger, Mayflower Mill Elementary

“Students took away many economic concepts as well as communication, leadership, and team work skills.”  Natalie Hines, Rousseau McClellan School

“It was really beneficial for students to see that not all businesses were a success.  They saw the value in conducting research.  They also learned the importance of marketing and organization to be more productive and successful.”  Katie Dodds, Happy Hollow Elementary

“I think students learned about organization, planning, and communication.  They also learned about sales and how to calculate their profits.”  Ramone Edmundson, Daniel Webster School

“The training program prepared me quite well to implement the CBE.  I felt confident in the steps I would need to take in order to help the students make a successful business.”  Alissa Salazar, New Community School

“Thank you so much for this opportunity.  I’m hooked!”  Barbara Tilley, Mintonye Elementary