Our Business World (OBW)

Program for Grades 5 & 6

In JA’s Our Business World program, elementary students explore how businesses are created and what makes them thrive.

The JA Our Business World program brought fun and engaging activities to my classroom! My students enjoyed the real-world connections of how they would use their skills in the future! -Grade 6 Teacher

Teacher Led Class

Self Directed Program

Volunteer Facilitated Program



Program Overview


Our Business World is an interactive program designed to encourage students to explore how businesses are created and what factors are involved in helping a business thrive. The focus of the program is on the power of the entrepreneurial spirit in Canada in a free enterprise system. Our Business World is available in English or French.


  • Develop student awareness of the operation and responsibilities of business
  • Encourage students to explore career opportunities

Classroom Model

  • Tailored towards Grade 6 students
  • Enhances and reinforces skills learned in social studies, languages, science, and math
  • Teaches through hands-on activities and discussions
  • Co-curricular to the elementary school curriculum with skills and concepts related to business and economics

Teachers can fully deliver the program on their own with the option to include pre-recorded volunteer-delivered content, or a volunteer can visit the classroom to do an hour of programming. We try to be as flexible as possible to support teachers!

Benefits to Students

  • Economic/business awareness
  • The opportunity to work in small groups reinforces team building skills
  • Develop an appreciation of the role of small business in the community
  • Learn why businesses are created
  • Explore where customers come from and how to keep them
  • Discuss how business contributes to the well-being of a community
  • Learn to recognize different marketing strategies
  • Understand the importance of innovation

Program Content

Lesson 1 – What is a Business?

  • Develop an understanding of what it means to be self-employed and an employee
  • Distinguish what a business is, from what it is not
  • Understand that in order to thrive, a business must serve a real need
  • Recognize that to thrive, a business must have a steady supply of customers/clients
  • Explore where customers/clients come from and how to keep them
  • Learn that to make profit, a business must make more money than it spends
  • Discuss where income and expenses come from

Lesson 2 – How Do Businesses Benefit Communities?

  • Learn that business contributes to the well-being of a community
  • Understand that when businesses employ local employees the local economy benefits
  • Recognize that businesses can impact the environment in both negative and positive ways
  • Learn that businesses pay taxes contributing to the common good

Lesson 3 – Why Do Businesses Change?

  • Learn about the history of some Canadian businesses and how they have changed over time
  • Recognize that there are external forces acting on businesses
  • Make decisions about how a business must change as the result of an external influence

Lesson 4 – Could I Be An Entrepreneur?

  • Understand what innovation is
  • Learn about start-ups and how they are supported in Canada
  • Recognize the key messages/qualities of innovative entrepreneurs
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