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Tilly with Children
Classroom Business Enterprise Program
Purdue Center for Economic Education

What is the Classroom Business Enterprise Program?

The Classroom Business Enterprise (CBE) Program gives K-8 students the opportunity to operate a real money business in their classrooms. Students decide what good or service to produce, gather the necessary productive resources, then market, produce, and sell their product. Through the CBE workshop, teachers learn how to easily tie CBE activities back to the academics standards in math, reading, and social studies, and how to integrate STEM topics into their projects.

This is a high motivation program for both students and teachers.  CBE can also be a valuable teaching tool 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.”

What kind of training and benefits do teachers receive?

Receive $200 to bring entrepreneurship into your classroom

CBE workshop participants receive:

  • reimbursement of up to $200 for supplies and materials needed to start your first classroom business
  • a full day of training from Purdue Center staff and practicing teachers
  • "How I Did It" session led by Gina Boyd, PCEE Teacher Advocate and a National Board Certified teacher who has been recognized with awards for teaching excellence at the local, state, and national level
  • presentation from a local expert in entrepreneurship
  • sub-pay reimbursement of up to $85, if needed, to attend the workshop
  • 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
  • a set of 22 KidsEcon posters
  • Professional Growth Points
  • breakfast, lunch, and parking.
  • The opportunity to participate in the spring Showcase event.

There is no charge to teachers or their schools to attend a CBE workshop.  We will even cover the cost of your sub, up to $85.  Download the flier. Contact the PCEE for more information, or join our email list for updates.

No CBE workshops are currently scheduled.  Please email us if you'd like to receive notification of upcoming CBE workshops.

CBE Showcase Events

The annual Dennis J. Weidenaar CBE Showcase event gives teachers who've participated in any of our CBE trainings, and have run a classroom business with their students during the current school year, the opportunity to showcase and share information about their classroom business(es) and all that their class has learned with CBE.  Teachers, along with a few of their students, display their products and business information, and may even sell their products at the Showcase.  Local business experts visit each display to talk with students about their CBEs, and highlight the accomplishments of each business at the end of the program. CBE Showcases are open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend.  Unfortunately, the 2020 Weidenaar CBE Showcase originally scheduled to take place at Purdue University on April 8 has been CANCELLED in response to the University's restrictions on large gatherings in an attempt to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

What Educators are Saying About CBE

Justine Skillman: 3rd Grade Teacher,
Hasten Hebrew Academy, Indianapolis
Barbara Tilley, 3rd grade teacher,
Mintonye Elementary, Lafayette
Katie Dodds, 4th grade teacher,
Happy Hollow Elementary, West Lafayette
Gina Boyd, 4th/5th grade teacher,
Mayflower Mill Elementary, Lafayette
Barbara Tilley, 3rd grade teacher,
Mintonye Elementary, Lafayette
Jon Rugenstein, Principal,
Lafayette Christian School
Gina Boyd, 4th/5th grade teacher,
Mayflower Mill Elementary, Lafayette
Tina Marcus, 5th grade teacher,
Eastern Elementary, Greentown