Students engage in various business activities throughout the year, which create authentic extended learning opportunities that actualize the world of work, communications, technology and global business. National and international trade shows, local and national business plan competitions, and the Global Business Challenge are key components of the VEI program. Other activities include The Stock Market Game, the Fed Challenge, and the Brand Games Business simulation. Student workshops and conferences are provided throughout the year on a myriad of topics ranging from developing a business plan and annual report, to investing, tax preparation, dressing for success, interviewing and presentation techniques, and resume writing.
Trade Shows provide students with the opportunity to present and market the products/services of their virtual business in a competitive marketplace with their local and global colleagues and peers. Students demonstrate their skills, knowledge and diverse talents in entrepreneurship, communications, computer technology, and global business management.
Different cities around the world are the venue for practice firm trade shows which draw thousands of participants and have become a highlight of the VE program. In the U.S., trade shows are held each year in numerous California cities (Bakersfield, San Diego, San Francisco, Long Beach) as well as in Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina and New York City. Review the website calendar for trade show dates in the U.S.
VEI organizes two national competitions for VE students which are described below. These rigorous competitions showcase best practices, reward excellence and require students to apply sophisticated knowledge and skills attributed to business professionals and college students.
Local competitions are organized by state and regional offices. Check the state website for details.
National Business Plan Competition (NBPC)
The NBPC offers students the opportunity to participate in an exciting learning experience that inspires innovative thinking and paves the way for the creation of new business ideas and solutions. It also connects them to industry volunteers who are committed to helping young people become financially literate, business-savvy, and economically competitive.
Teams of aspiring young business executives from VE firms across the United States that won earlier at state competition, compete to become the U.S. national champion. Teams must submit written business plans, present their plan and respond to questions from a panel of judges, who will select the winners. Two oral preliminary rounds, along with the evaluation of each team’s written plan, determine the six finalist teams for the championship round. The top three teams are announced at the opening ceremony of the VEI International Trade Show. The NBPC takes place in New York City in early spring during the Youth Business Summit.
Check the website calendar for the date of this event. Guests are welcome to observe the championship round.
Global Business Challenge
As innovation and the free flow of information have increased, the growth of international business has accelerated. In order to keep pace, it is necessary for business students to be prepared to understand the global economy in which they will work. The Global Business Challenge is a unique opportunity for Virtual Enterprise students worldwide to achieve this goal.
The “Challenge” allows students from NYC, national and international VEs, who also participate in the Trade Show, to experience working in a multinational team and examine the challenges, opportunities and risks involved in a global business.
Before the start of the Challenge, students are assigned to a multinational team of 10 students. The mission is for each team to analyze company data, identify relevant information for the assigned task, and prepare a business strategy to be presented to industry partners from multi-national companies.
Each team is provided with one laptop and a flash drive in order to prepare their presentation. Teams must complete their mission in 2.5 hours. As the teams work, judges have the opportunity to observe and evaluate performance, professionalism and effectiveness. At the end of the 2.5 hours, teams make a 10- minute presentation to judges, followed by 5 minutes of questions. In addition to the criteria of teamwork, teams are rated on their analysis of the company, the strategies they recommend and the strength of their answers to judges’ questions. Registration information will be posted in December. Check the website calendar for the date of this event.