10 Business Programs for High School Students

High school represents an opportune time for teens to explore their interests, including in the world of business. A number of programs enable high school students to get exposed to business concepts, build skills, and even gain internship experiences to inform college and career paths. In this article I have mentioned 10 notable business programs tailored for high schoolers learning enrichment.

Business Programs for High School Students

Getting authentic exposure in intended fields early on provides valuable skills application while crystallizing post-graduation education paths before college.

For students attracted towards the world of business, a wealth of programs allows hands on participation through curricular and extracurricular initiatives.

Options range from taking business electives or skilled based competitive events to startup incubators and corporate apprenticeships spanning different areas from marketing, finance and management to hospitality, economics and accounting.

1. Junior Achievement (JA)

JA offers business education programs focused on financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work readiness. The hands-on curricula and workshops are delivered by corporate and community volunteers to bring real-world applicability. Programs span starting early in middle school through high school.


DECA prepares high school students for entrepreneurial and business careers through competitive events, leadership conferences, and marketing-focused programs. Students gain skills in finance, hospitality management, sales, and other subsets of business. DECA membership exceeds 215,000 members globally.

3. Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)

As the largest business career student organization, FBLA fosters business leadership inclusively for high schoolers. It delivers educational events, competitions, and service programs focused on business management, finance, IT and public speaking skill development.

4. Economics for Leaders (EFL)

EFL provides business and economics immersion programs for teens through modules, case studies, company site visits and capstone projects. Select high schools adopt their credit-eligible curriculum teaching strategic thinking and decision making abilities.

5. Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA)

Through YEA’s 30 week course, high school students learn entrepreneurship fundamentals hands-on by conceiving, launching and running their own businesses with support from local business leaders. The initiatives undertake include startup nonprofits too and can lead to funding opportunities.

6. Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)

NFTE certifies teachers to deliver entrepreneurship courses usually as high school electives or extracurricular programs. The curriculum focused on opportunity recognition, business planning and startup models including Ecommerce. Competitions are also organized by NFTE globally.

7. High School Apprenticeships

Structured apprenticeships at accounting firms, banks, marketing agencies and other corporates provide hands-on learning regarding various business functions for high school students. Availability varies based on local school and employer partnerships.

8. College Campus Summits

Programs like Wharton Moneyball Academy organize multi-day immersive summits on university campuses exposing high school students to business, finance and investment topics through case studies, lectures and simulators leveraging professor and corporate partner mentorship.

9. Online Courses

Online learning platforms like edX, Coursera, Udemy offer business and entrepreneurship courses from leading universities at no cost or affordable rates. High schoolers gain fundamentals exposure supplemented by books, videos and real-world applications.

10. Coding Camps

While focused on technical skills, selective coding camps like Anthropic and Pathrise now have high school tracks teaching Python and other marketable programming skills applicable to technology business careers.

The above programs offer a range of options for high school students to get early jump start exposure to various facets of business education based on individual interests and local availability. Hands-on learning based on real-world applicable projects and competitions help demystify textbooks concepts better preparing teens for college business majors and future careers.

Analyse Business Competition Opportunities

Beyond curricular programs, various extracurricular business competitions also exist for motivated high school students to test and showcase skills:

  • DECA, FBLA, NFTE and JA all host national and international level competitive events spanning marketing, finance, hospitality, and business strategy.
  • Consortia like WISE run innovation challenges inviting business solutions for societal issues from high schoolers, judged by academic experts. Cash prizes and internships provided.
  • Universities host local and online high school business case competitions testing business acumen and presentation abilities. Allow networking with campus clubs too.
  • Creative problem solving tournaments like Odyssey of the Mind involve team challenges integrating business, tech and arts.

Funding Ways For Young Entrepreneurs

For students keen on launching their own high school ventures, early stage capital access is important. Options include:

-abbage for young inventors provides micro-grants up to $1000 for creating product prototypes.

  • Banks and credit unions offer teen small business loans with adult co-signers and SBA guarantees.
  • Angel groups and investors like 37 Angels fund high school startups accepting teen founders.
  • Parents, relatives and family friends represent informal investors in many cases.
  • Business plan competitions provide seed funding prizes, often sponsored by local founders and corporations.

Business Reading Recommendations

Formal programs, self-directed reading helps strengthen business knowledge foundations for high schoolers via:

  • Biographies of entrepreneurs like Jeff Bezos, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffet highlighting journeys.
  • Finance classics like Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Intelligent Investor and One Up on Wall Street.
  • Leadership books like How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • Online books/blogs catering to young founders specifically with tips.
  • Educational magazines like Bloomberg Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Fast Company.


The growing accessibility of business education programs tailored for high school students empowers the next generation of future leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals.

The initiatives highlighted covering competitive events, hands-on projects and work experiences build valued skills in areas like financial literacy, strategic thinking, communication abilities, leadership qualities and technology adeptness.

High school years represent an opportune window for teens to analyse such interests deeply, benefiting college and career trajectories tremendously. With life-long learning critical amid rapidly growing workplace dynamics, getting an early start goes a long way in nurturing personal and professional growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are some of the most popular business electives high schools offer?

A: Common business electives include introduction to business, accounting, entrepreneurship, personal finance, marketing principles, business law, and computer applications for business.

Q: How do business programs specifically help college admissions?

A: Leadership in business programs demonstrates ambition, career interest and skill building which strengthen college applications. Unique experiences can inspire admissions essay topics too.

Q: Are paid high school internships at companies available?

A: Paid high school internships are still relatively rare but some programs like HSGC offer a pathway. Unpaid shadowing-based internships focused on learning are more feasible through school partnerships.

Q: Can international high school students also participate in these programs?

A: Yes, many national organizations like DECA, FBLA, and NFTE have international student participation options. Online courses and coding camps open access too. Local availability may vary country-wise.

Leave a Comment