Youth and Entrepreneurship: a database of exisiting resources

The following resources were complied by the Research Team for the Self Employment Explorer.  We asked our Researchers to survey what resources existed and were used by careers counsellors and employment counsellors to help youth with disabilities explore self employment as a career option.  The assessment of the resources is the work of the research team, and is not necessarily the opinion of The Self Employment Explorer Author.   This database contains resources used in Canada, and was completed on December 17, 2008.

We have included this database of resources for your further information on self employment as a career option.

Entrepreneurship in the high school classroom curriculum

There are many readily available curricula designed for use in the high school classroom. Most provincial governments have these available through their education ministries, although we have not found anything readily available from Newfoundland and Labrador. 

The Government of Manitoba offers Career Development: Life/Work Planning (http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/cur/cardev/curdocs.html) for grades 9 through 11 and is available in pdf format online (http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/youth/businesses/youngentrepreneurs.html). 

Similarly the Ontario and BC governments have their curricula online and readily available: (http://www.curriculum.org/csc/library/profiles/11/html/BDP3OC5.htm (Ontario); http://www.curriculum.org/csc/library/profiles/11/html/BDI3CP1.htm (Ontario); http://www.searchontario.gov.on.ca/cgi-bin/e_search_results.pl?offset=0&owner_id=edu&language=en&collection=50800edutcu&query=entrepreneur&x=0&y=0; http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/irp/bused810.pdf (BC). These curricula are comprehensive and have useful assessment components.

New Brunswick’s Youth Apprenticeship Program provides an opportunity for students at the high school level to become actively involved in skill training and work experience related to their occupational interests.  Although its roots are based in apprenticeship training concepts, this program will be applicable to a broad range of occupations and industrial sectors. The key to the success of this program is effective partnerships between schools, businesses and labour. It is a comprehensive curriculum that can be offered at various levels through grades 9-12, building on each prior level. (http://www.gnb.ca/0000/progs/curric/youthapp/pdf/currall.pdf.)

Several curricula are offered for online purchase and are used in a variety of countries around the world.

The DECA curriculum is divided into four Knowledge Levels which are further divided into three Modules each. This site again offers a good basic outline of an entrepreneurship curriculum (www.gwudeca.org/Curriculum/default.htm).

http://www.nfte.com/startaprogram/curriculum/. This is a similar, publicly offered curriculum.

The making cents site offers an extensive curriculum for potential entrepreneurs, both adult and youth programs. Curriculum packages must be purchased, although the outlines are available for perusal (http://www.makingcents.com/curriculum/youth.php#high_school).

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is a US group which has an extensive website offering information about services for small business. In addition, they offer the NFIB Entrepreneur-in-the-classroom course, portions of which are available online (http://www.nfib.com/object/yefForm.html). The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom (EITC) supplemental curriculum exposes students to entrepreneurship and the necessary steps to take an idea and turn it into a business. The free curriculum can be integrated into classes teaching a variety of subjects including music, art, fashion, business and many more. There are several components of the courses as well as a simulation game (http://www.nfib.com/page/YEFJohnnyMoney.html). The Johnny Money Online Game is a free Internet-based small business simulation game that engages students as they explore the risks and rewards of business ownership and could be a useful tool for classrooms. Currently there are numerous schools in the US and two in Canada that are using this program.

There are several websites which offer a description of their modules for entrepreneurship education. These modules, while not as comprehensive as the curricula, serve as additional guides for courses and are useful for their ideas about which components are important and offer different suggestions as to how the courses can be designed. One such site is offered by the Kauffman Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership (http://www.ait.net/products/e_in_me/segments.htm). The course is titled “The ‘E’ in Me”.

Curriculum specific for people with disabilities

The resources on the site from the Canadian Mental Health Association are designed to support educators within Canadian secondary schools to address issues of mental health and mental illness in the classroom.  It includes lesson plans and accompanying audiovisual resources to teach a comprehensive mini-course on mental health and mental illness. (http://www.cmha.ca/highschoolcurriculum/index.html).

In addition to the curricula available for entrepreneurship, there are some other programs about entrepreneurship available.

Entrepreneur programs for youth

Title: The Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development www.ceed.info

Description: CEED (The Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development) is a group designed to build entrepreneurship awareness and capacity throughout Atlantic Canada. Their website offers good information regarding entrepreneurship both specific to Atlantic Canada and in general.

Assessment: This website offers basics about high school competitions as well as a teachers’ toolbox and some interesting links. It shows an easy to follow structure that could serve as a guide. (http://www.ceed.info/ee/reality_of_entrepreneurship; http://www.ceed.info/ee/fun_stuff/; http://www.ceed.info/ee/resources_educational_materials/).

Entrepreneur information and funding

Title: The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (http://www.acoa.ca/e/financial/yediPDF.shtml).

Description: The Young Entrepreneur Development Initiative provides support to promote entrepreneurship for young people in Atlantic Canada. YEDI is an ACOA program designed to expand and enhance the entrepreneurship training, information and support services available to Atlantic Canadians younger than 35 years of age. ACOA works in partnership with not-for-profit and non-commercial organizations to develop projects and programs that help young people start and build these businesses.

Assessment: This site offers useful basic as well as information regarding funding opportunities for young entrepreneurs.

Post-secondary info for youth with disabilities

Title: Alberta Learning Information Service


Description: Transitions for Students with Disabilities. This site offers guides for the secondary to post secondary transitions in printable format. Because it is from a Canadian source, the information is applicable to most Canadian students.

Assessment: This is a very useful website which offers links for educators, parents and youth with disabilities. It offers videos showing disabled youth who have been successful in their endeavours and offers a variety of links with good information for post high school employment and career options.

Title: The Heath Resource Centre


Description: The Heath Resource Centre provides online, web based resources on postsecondary education for individuals with disabilities.

Assessment: While this is A US based resource so that some of the information is specific to that country, it offers links to some useful information regarding both online and printed resources for a variety of topics such as transitions from secondary to postsecondary education, transportation as well as a link to a toolkit (described below). This is a very useful site for its variety of different links.

Entrepreneur programs for youth with disabilities

Title: Partners for Youth with Disabilities


Description: The Young Entrepreneurs Program (YEP) offered through this group is described as a hands on, practical approach to introducing youth to entrepreneurship. The site offers success stories as well as links to mentoring programs.

Assessment: While the site gives some basic information, some of the programs offered online which are not specific for disabled youth could probably be more effective with some changes to adapt the program for the disabled. The site does offer a link to a helpful guidebook regarding the mentoring of youth with disabilities (http://www.pyd.org/national-center/GuideBookAssembly_medium150.pdf).

Entrepreneur courses for people with disabilities

Title: Business Abilities


Description: The Business Abilities website is designed to offer persons with disabilities or chronic health issues, the opportunity to explore self employment as a viable career options. Currently offered is a course called “Preparing for Business” which is intended to help in researching your business idea and prepare your business plan. This website involves virtual classrooms and has a summary of classes.

Assessment: While this website offers a good summary of the class schedule, with a comprehensive model of how a good small business course should be structured, there is no information specific to the youth. Rather this is a website which would allow a disabled person to take the course since it is offered as distance education.

Title: The Consumer Initiative Centre


Description: The purpose of the CIC is to increase the capacity of persons living with, through, and beyond mental illness to help themselves and each other move forward. The information offered through this website is specific to people with mental illnesses.

Assessment: This site does offer information regarding entrepreneurship as well as an assessment and evaluation mechanism to determine whether entrepreneurship is a viable option.

Entrepreneurial schools

Title: LEP High www.lephigh.org

Description: A description of a Leadership & Entrepreneurship Public Charter High School located in Portland Oregon. It educates youth in grades 9-11.

Assessment: Provides a good description of the academic programs but does not provide much additional information.

Title: Praxis International Institute www.praxisinternational.ca

Description:  This is a new boarding high school (grade 9-12) in Saskatchewan located in the eco village of Craik where the school curriculum is based on entrepreneurship principles, environmental sustainability and international communication.

Assessment: As a new high school, it is focused on building on the inspiration and passion of each student, rewarding innovation and the creative process.  Entrepreneurship is promoted as a career along side other career options.  It is based upon the belief that entrepreneurship can be applied while working for others as well (intrapreneurship).  It is new as a high school so there is no track record as of yet however it is related to the post secondary institute below that has been running for adults since 1991.

Title: Praxis School of Entrepreneurship

Description: This is a post secondary institute located in Saskatchewan for individuals who want to start a career as an entrepreneur.  They have been in operation since 1991 and most recently renamed their school as Praxis School of Entrepreneurship.  They have assisted over 700 individuals from a variety of backgrounds and abilities, to start their own enterprises in Saskatchewan and Alberta.  They offer a distance program to accommodate need and mentorship is a heavy component in their program.

Assessment: they are primarily designed for individuals who have decided that they want to start a company although they do have a workshop entitled Are You An Entrepreneur where participants are able to assess their potential for entrepreneurship.

Global entrepreneurship resources

Title: Sample Entrepreneurship Education Programs Around the World


Description: This site offers links to entrepreneurial programs in other regions of the world including Europe, the Ivory Coast, Japan, Mexico and the UK. It has links to course materials used in the various programs and brief descriptions of the programs.

Assessment: While this site is interesting to read, there is little information offered here that is not found in a more informative and easier to read style at other sites.

Web-based toolkits for youth about entrepreneurship

Title: These Kids Mean Business


Description: This site tells stories of successful young entrepreneurs in the US both in text and video format. It lists links to several other groups involved in entrepreneurship in the US. There is also an extensive description of the program, including outlines of entrepreneurship courses at both the elementary and high school levels.

Assessment: This is a useful site for the structure, since it is a well organized website. It also includes the PBS documentary about the program.

Title: Skills Credentialing Tool For Individual


Description: A self assessment tool from the Conference Board of Canada for students, educators and employers to determine their employability options.

Assessment: This site is a link to the assessment which can be obtained by e-mail.

Title: Employability Skills Toolkit


Description: This site indicates that the toolkit can be purchased. It does not give any other information about the details of the kit.

Title: National Content Standards for Entrepreneurship Education


Description: This toolkit offers information and standards for the design and development of the curriculum for entrepreneurship programs. This site offers thorough and extensive information about the design and implementation of programs as well as helpful links.

Assessment: It is a good reference source for course design although there are better sites as examples of user friendly toolkits.

Title: Youth Entrepreneurship Toolkit from the Urban Ministry


Description: This site is designed for groups who are developing youth entrepreneurship programs. It has links to curricula, sample handouts and assessment forms as well as some other print resources.

Assessment: Some of the other sites described here would be more effective although the links are helpful.

Title: Business Central Youth Entrepreneur


Description: This website offers information about youth entrepreneur programs and competitions as well as assessment forms, success stories, helpful tips.

Assessment: It is bright and eyecatching – a fun format for youth. It is designed by a group who is also working on the more extensive “Business in a Box” toolkit.

Title: Toolkit on teaching and assessing students with disabilities


Description: This toolkit is an in-depth and thorough compilation of information regarding effective teaching and assessment of students with various disabilities. Funded by the US government, it offers plans and proposed models for teaching elementary through high school students.

Assessment: This would be a good resource for the educators’ and parents’ portion of a toolkit.

Other toolkits

Title: Career Pathways Toolkit


Description: A thorough examination of information and approaches for the development of career pathways and methods of improving selections and choices.

Assessment: A good summary for educators involved in helping youth in their career choices. While the policies are US specific, the links and additional information would be a helpful addition to the educators’s portion of a toolkit. 

Title: Diversity Toolkit: An educator’s guide to tools and resources that foster inclusion in the classroom and workplace.  http://www.nea.org/diversitytoolkit/index.html

Description: This toolkit serves to introduce ways to introduce the concept of diversity and suggest means to make classrooms more tolerant.

Assessment: This is not a very effective kit, offering little information which could not be found in many other locations.

TitleBe Your Own Boss – Scottish Youth Information for 11-26 year olds


Description: This toolkit offers information to Scottish Youth regarding small business options and entrepreneurships. It offers links to information, advice and training including self-assessment and tutorials for business plans. There are links to funding agencies specific to each area of the country.

Assessment: This is good basic site which is easily navigated and could certainly be used as the base for a more extensive format for a toolkit.

Title: Next Steps http://www.nextsteps.org/

Description: This site describes itself as “A full featured employment, career development and job finding resource for youth”. It is well organized and guides the user through decision-making processes, has useful instruction of preparing for employment and links to other sources throughout.

Assessment: This is a very youth friendly site which is fun and well organized.

Title: Career Counselor and Special Education resources


Description: This site offers extensive links to resources for the disabled from transition from secondary school, employment options, transportation.

Assessment: This would be a very helpful link in any toolkit for disabled youth.

Title: School to Life Transition Handbook – Five Steps to Successful Planning


Description: This is a handbook created in response to recommendations made in the “Transition from High School to Adult Life” project that attempted to respond to the concerns of parents and educators that when young people with intellectual disabilities leave the educational system, there are often very few options open to them.  One of the outcomes was the creation of a Handbook with 5 Steps to Successful Transition that would help young people in transition and their families to learn about the transition process and help them get more involved in the planning for their future.

Assessment: While geared to youth with intellectual disabilities and employment as opposed to self employment, it says it can be used in planning for young people with different kinds and degrees of disabilities and even for students without disabilities.  It can be modified and adapted for different populations and would be helpful to others such as teachers, social workers, agency people and employers.  It could also be adapted to address the career of self employment.  There is also a good selection of additional material.  Throughout the book are stories of Successful Transition – which could easily be adapted to Stories of Successful Entrepreneurs.  It is simple to follow and could be used as a template for a Toolkit.

Title: The Blueprint for Life/Work Designs

The Blueprint is an international partnership project of the National Life/Work Centre; National Occupational Information Coordinating Committee (US); Canada Career Information partnership; Human Resources Development Canada 2000. http://lifework.ca/lifework/pr_theblueprint.html

Description: It is a partnership between the US and Canada intended to help Canadians acquire career development skills they need. Benefits include infusion of career development into school programs; national transferability across curricula; clarification of career development products; improved human resource practices within organizations; increase rationalization of programs; effective evaluation of programs. We have the hard copy of this version but it appears to be updated through the website.

Assessment: This organization is a cooperative effort between the US and Canada but has applications outside of NA.  It is intended to provide specific guidelines that can help strengthen career development and transition programs in a wide variety of settings including elementary schools, high schools, post secondary, workforce organization and business organizations so we think there are some great templates here. The website has curriculum pieces, and they also are the authors of the Real Game Series which might be a useful tool if adapted to self employment.

Title: Working Together – a Tool Kit for Diversifying Our Work Force

Human Resources Development Canada 1995

Description: The purpose of this toolkit is to help HRDC staff help translate the commitment of HRDC into words and actions.  It is made up of a series of pieces that can be used as flyers or questionnaires or checklists and includes sections on Assessment (how diverse is a workplace); Tools to create/develop diversity in a workplace; and Additional Resources.

Assessment: This document is primarily interesting for the simplicity it has in its design as a toolkit.  Its focus is on diversity as well so there are some elements there that are useful but it is a simple to use toolkit. Available only in a hard copy, one of which we have.

Title: Guide for New Workers, Saskatchewan Labour


Description: Useful small book (about 7″ * 4″) for new workers.  There is also a section on entrepreneurship although would need to be more developed.

Assessment: This type of document, which includes places for notes, calendar etc, would be a potential useful element in a toolkit.

Information about work and youth with disabilities

Title: Employment among youth with disabilities


Description: This chapter statistically explores the realities of employment in disabled youth in the US. It analyses the areas which most often employ disabled youth and indicates where few disabled youth find employment.

Assessment: This is an interesting study which should be read by educators.

Title: Start Up USA. http://www.start-up-usa.biz/training/webcasts.cfm

Description: This site offers links to video presentations concerning self-employment for individuals with disabilities. It also offers information for professionals who assist disabled people.

Assessment: The information offered in this site is limited and does not specifically address the needs of youth. It is not a particularly helpful site.

Post-secondary toolkits for disabled youth

Title: Guidance and Career Counselors’ Toolkit


Description: This is a toolkit for counselors advising high school students with disabilities on postsecondary options. While some of the information in this toolkit is specific to the US, there are some chapters which would help counselors in their assessment of youth with disabilities.

Assessment: While most of the toolkit is text, there is a listing of links at then end of the kit which offers additional resources for the counselor. This site would be a helpful link for the educators’ portion of a toolkit.

Title: Managing Off-campus Learning for Students with Disabilities


Description: This site offers extensive information about employment placement for youth with disabilities. The information is organized for both educators and students.

Assessment: While the information is offered for job placement rather than career development, this site has information regarding helpful topics such as dealing with discrimination and how to work with others. These sections would be a useful addition to a toolkit.

Entrepreneurship and the disabled

Title: Road to Self-Sufficiency: A Guide to Entrepreneurship for Youth with Disabilities


Description: This guide was developed as a resource for organizations working with youth and shows how to effectively implement entrepreneurship as a career option. It extensively reviews entrepreneurship programs as a whole as well as methods of success specific to the disabled. The guide is available to download as a pdf.

Assessment: This guide would be helpful to educators, especially portions concerning specific considerations for youth with disabilities.

Title: Social and Enterprise Development Innovations


Description: This site offers workbooks and guides in downloadable formats under the heading “Self-employment opportunities for people with disabilities”.  These links include self-assessment workbooks, business plan, practitioner’s and resource guides as well as other useful tools.

Assessment: The various resources are published in Canada and would make very useful tools to be included in the toolkit.


Title: Employability 2000+ brochure


Description: Brochure from Conference Board of Canada summarising the essential skills required for successful self-employment. These are subdivided into fundamental, personal management and teamwork skills.

Assessment: A helpful list to be included as a link in a toolkit.

Of Interest

Title: Self-Determination: Supporting Successful Transition


Description: This brief defines and describes self-determination specifically in regards to youth with disabilities and explains the importance of self-determination for successful careers.

Assessment: This is a very interesting article which concludes with a very useful list of tips for educators and parents to help promote self-determination.