Bizworld.org believes that entrepreneurs have no age limit, which is why their mission is to challenge elementary and middle school children to develop entrepreneurial skills even at a young age. Their programs promote financial responsibility, leadership and teamwork while showing children that they have bright futures in a growing global economy.
Through three diverse programs, Bizworld.org teaches students what they need to succeed in today's world. All three programs include information on entrepreneurship, business, and the need for financial responsibility while also providing a strong background in collaboration, leadership and creativity. Students work on real-world problems in a team setting. The programs are designed for students in grades three through eight, but are also designed to be used in non-classroom settings such as after-school programs or summer camps.
The flagship program, Bizworld, teaches the basics of the program in a project-based learning environment. Students learn how to start their own business, from funding the initial concept to running the company. Bizwiz teaches children in grades five through eight the importance of money management and investment by allowing them to create their own investment portfolio while working in teams. The newest program, Bizmovie, allows students to explore the basics of entrepreneurship and business through technology as they create their own animated movie.
In November 2014, Bizworld.org announced that it had expanded their programs into three additional countries: Denmark, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. In addition the program is offered in India, Ireland, Italy, and the Netherlands. Bizworld.org's international partners use their knowledge of culture, language, educational systems, contacts and norms to provide the skills students need to succeed. In Denmark, the Danish Government lottery funds started the effort while two successful entrepreneurs started the programs in Mexico.
Children in Need
Since its inception in 1997, Bizworld.org has demonstrated their concepts to more than 500,000 students, with more than 31,000 reached in the 2013-14 school year alone. After completing the programs, 97 percent of classes show increased knowledge in business, entrepreneurship and finance. The most important fact, however, is that 57 percent of the programs are taught in low-income schools where children too often are unaware of their potential. In addition, 44 percent of programs are taught in Title I schools, further reaching children who are underprivileged and may struggle with achieving goals. Of the teachers that have participated in the program, 95 percent say that the programs helped students improve in math, language, economics and social science as it helped them connect those subjects with real-world situations. At least 97 percent say that students learned to work better together and 93 percent said that students who participated developed better critical thinking skills.
Pre- and Post-Assessment
One of the requirements of the program is that children undergo a pre- and post-assessment. The results showed that 96 percent of classes participating increased their scores and that low-income students showed the most improvement with an increase of 76 percent on average in score between the pre-and post-assessment.
Amber's Snuggle Pillow
Only seven years old when she came up with the concept of the Snuggle Pillow, a pillow with a pouch for a stuffed animal, Amber Van Rooij of Holland was inspired by what she learned through Bizworld.org. In 2009, Amber submitted her idea to a Dutch television show designed for young entrepreneurs, becoming a finalist on the show. The pillow drew the attention of an executive at Happy Horse who introduced the concept. Today, the pillows are made by Dommelin and are available online in both boy or girl versions. The pillows have a handle to make them easy to carry and a tag to write the child's name.
Amber is just one success story that demonstrates how successful Bizworld.org is at changing the lives of children throughout the world. With many low-income students unaware of the potential for success, Bizworld.org gives allows them to begin setting goals that could lead them into the world of business, finance and entrepreneurship that they were unaware existed prior to entering the program.