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Purdue’s Classroom Business Enterprise program to celebrate entrepreneurial efforts of Indiana students

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Students from Indiana elementary and middle schools will demonstrate how they have learned to harness economic skills and innovation to create a successful business at the Classroom Business Enterprise (CBE) Showcase at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management on April 12.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will recognize teachers and young entrepreneurs from the areas of Indianapolis, South Bend, Kokomo and Lafayette who have participated in the CBE program throughout the school year. Students will be on hand to display their products and share information about the process of starting their business, including designing, producing, marketing and selling their goods. Business experts from Purdue and local corporations will be on hand to offer constructive feedback. The CBE Showcase will take place from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the Krannert Building’s Drawing Room.

The Purdue Center for Economic Education (PCEE), a national leader in economic literacy, administers the CBE program, with the current year’s program receiving significant financial support from The Lafayette Life Foundation.

“Our current economic climate in Indiana and its focus on entrepreneurship and innovation makes programs like CBE even more important for young Hoosiers and our communities,” says David Perkis, PCEE director. “Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger has consistently emphasized the importance of entrepreneurship in keeping our bright students working in the state. CBE and other programs like it help empower students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset early.”

Through teacher training and support, the program allows teachers in elementary and middle schools to incorporate applied business experience in their current classroom curriculum, giving their students the opportunity to learn important economic skills. Both the start-up funds provided to students and the profits they earn are in real dollars, making it a true entrepreneurial learning experience.

“Often, economic and entrepreneurial education isn’t something we think about until students reach high school,” Perkis says. “However, research and practice have shown that teaching economic decision-making at an early age alongside language and mathematical skills is essential for helping our students to retain these lessons long term.

“Introducing economic ideas during a student’s elementary years has the added benefit of allowing teachers to tie these lessons into other academic standards like reading, social studies and STEM areas, giving students a more holistic view of how our economy works. While many of our teachers have started businesses focused on STEM applications, we plan to offer formal STEM training as part of the CBE program next year.”

In addition to highlighting the achievements of CBE teachers and students, the PCEE will celebrate its 50th anniversary at Purdue and recognize the achievements of its teacher advocate, Gina Boyd, who recently won a national award for excellence in the teaching of economics at the elementary school level.

Source: David Perkis, 765-496-2596, perkis@purdue.edu