Today's students are tomorrow's problem solvers, innovators, and job creators

Entrepreneur for a Day

The Entrepreneur for a Day (E4D®) program is dedicated to teaching 5th grade students the fundamental principles of entrepreneurship and how to start a business. Students learn the distinct differences between becoming an entrepreneur and being an employee. One of the goals of the program is to get kids thinking about being a job creator versus a job taker. We encourage them to understand that entrepreneurship is a viable career pathway.

During this two session program participants experience business planning, financial literacy, marketing concepts, work place concepts, social responsibility, and team-building skills. This is actually the first step in getting entrepreneurship education into the schools.

On the first day of E4D®, trained facilitators visit the students’ classroom and get them excited about the program by introducing terms and concepts of entrepreneurship.

On the second day, students are invited to visit the NIACC campus where they choose a product, borrow money from a bank, buy the resources they will need, make the product, then sell the product and determine if they made a profit.

The visit concludes with a tour of NIACC which offers students a sense of campus life, diversity, and validates college. Many of these students may be the first generation in their families to attend college, and the campus presence enables the students to make a post secondary connection.

21st Century Skills

    • E4D® links school standards to the curriculum and meets career-building curriculum requirements required by state
    • Shows students the purpose of learning important skills in school (reading, writing, math, oral communication)
    • Students reflect throughout the day in their journals to help build their critical thinking skills
    • Promotes student creativity and innovation
    • Builds partnerships with community college and regional school districts

In these times of economic uncertainty, the E4D® program is more necessary than ever.  During this program, students become more aware of entrepreneurship and the work that must go into running small and large businesses.  They experience the organization, accounting, and production of a product and also realize the importance of quality work and cooperation.  They also learn budgeting, borrowing, and importance of the banking system which may help them understand budgets at home and see the importance of the family working together.

-Ellen Grady-Manns, 5th grade teacher from Riceville

E4D® Schools

  • Belmond-Klemme
  • CAL Community
  • Central Springs
  • Charles City
  • Clear Lake
  • Clarion/Goldfield/Forest City
  • Garner
  • Hampton-Dumont
  • Lake Mills
  • Mason City Lincoln Intermediate
  • Mason City Newman Catholic
  • Osage
  • St. Ansgar
  • Riceville
  • Rudd – Rockford – Marble Rock
  • West Hancock

E4D® Curriculum

E4D® is a visionary education and economic development strategy designed to enable youth to become successfully “employed” by starting and owning their own enterprises.

This program is a brainchild developed by the NIACC Pappajohn Center, inspired after visiting Springfield Technical Community College and observing their Entrepreneur for a Day program as well as based on the concepts from Play-Doh Economics from the Council of Economic Education. E4D® was spurred by research that revealed 25 percent of kindergarten students have entrepreneurship characteristics as compared to three percent of high school students (Lobler, 2006). Understanding the necessity to nurture and foster these innate abilities at a young age, the Pappajohn Center developed this entrepreneurial curriculum for upper elementary students.

The NIACC Pappajohn Center Entrepreneur for a Day (E4D®) curriculum is licensed and protected. Licensing and training agreements are available for purchase. This program is an excellent opportunity for Community and County Foundations, Economic Developers and Community Colleges to lead and deliver to their respective regions.

Contact the Pappajohn Center for more information about E4D ordering and pricing.

Purchased License Agreements
Hardin County Community Endowment Foundation purchased an E4D® curriculum license. They partner with Ellsworth Community College and Hardin County Farm Bureau to deliver E4D® in all six school districts in Hardin County annually.   “HCCEF is proud to collaborate with our partners in promoting entrepreneurial literacy with our youth,” says Carol Gilbert, HCCEF Chair. “When young people have the opportunity to participate in the E4D® program, they begin to unlock their unique entrepreneurial creativity, have a greater understanding of the free enterprise system, improve the quality of their lives, and dare to dream for bright futures.”