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Program Element 14 - Entrepreneurial skills training

Entrepreneurial skills training

What is entrepreneurial skills training and how is it taught?

Entrepreneurial skills training provides the basics of starting and operating a small business. Such training must develop the skills associated with entrepreneurship and include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

(1) Take initiative

(2) Creatively seek out and identify business opportunities

(3) Develop budgets and forecast resource needs

(4) Understand various options for acquiring capital and the trade‐offs associated with each option;


(5) Communicate effectively and market oneself and one’s ideas

Examples of Qualifying Activities

- Entrepreneurship education that provides an introduction to the values and basics of starting and running a business. Entrepreneurship education programs often guide youth through the development of a business plan and may also include simulations of business start‐up and operation.

- Enterprise development which provides supports and services that incubate and help youth develop their own businesses. Enterprise development programs go beyond entrepreneurship education by helping youth access small loans or grants that are needed to begin business operation and by providing more individualized attention to the development of viable business ideas.

- Experiential programs that provide youth with experience in the day‐to‐day operation of a business. These programs may involve the development of a youth‐run business that young people participating in the program work in and manage. Or, they may facilitate placement in apprentice or internship positions with adult entrepreneurs in the community.

Examples of Non‐Qualifying Activities

- Activities that do not revolve around starting or operating a small business

Services that provide labor market and employment information about in‐demand industry sectors or occupations available in the local area, such as career awareness, career counseling, and career exploration services

All WIOA youth participants should be provided labor market information. The method of delivery and the particular Services and information should be determined by the needs of the individual youth. Labor market information should be presented in formats that are easily understood and usable.


This element includes:

- Services that provide labor market and employment information about in‐demand industry sectors or occupations available in the local area, such as career awareness, career counseling, and career exploration services

- The body of knowledge that describes the relationship between labor demand and supply Labor market information (LMI) tools can be used to help youth and young adults to make appropriate decisions about education and careers. LMI identifies in‐demand industries and occupations and employment opportunities; and, provides knowledge of job market expectations including education and skills requirements and potential earnings. LMI tools also can aid in facilitating youth awareness of the career fields that are likely to provide long‐term employment and earnings in local labor markets.


WIOA youth programs and providers should become familiar with state and federal LMI data and LMI tools, which are provided for free by agencies, in order to share relevant LMI with youth. Providing such readily available online services can be accomplished by connecting the youth with American Job Centers and other entities that have career exploration tools, ability and interest inventories, and provide related employment services. DOL electronic tools particularly relevant to youth include My Next Move and Get My Future. In addition to connecting youth to self‐service LMI tools, it is important for youth providers to share and discuss state and local LMI with youth participants.

Career Awareness, Counseling, and Exploration

In general, career awareness begins the process of developing knowledge of the variety of careers and occupations available, their skill requirements, working conditions and training prerequisites, and job opportunities across a wide range of industry sectors.


The process in which youth choose an educational path and training or a job which fits their interests, skills and abilities can be described as career exploration.


Career counseling or guidance provides advice and support in making decisions about what career paths to take. Career counseling services may include providing information about resume preparation, interview skills, potential opportunities for job shadowing, and the long-term benefits of postsecondary education and training (e.g., increased earning power and career mobility).

Examples of Qualifying Activities for Labor Market and Employment Information

- Career Counseling that includes job requirements and employment prospects

- Utilizing current LMI tools that are provided by State or Federal agencies

Examples of Non‐ Qualifying Activities for Labor Market and Employment Information

- Providing information that is not linked to an official State or federal source

- Information that does not provide context to information (i.e. only providing listing of local job openings)