Go Back

What We Teach

Getting the most out of Market Day

YE’s Market Day initiative provides students the opportunity to run a mini business for a day and earn real profit. Market Day provides students the hands-on opportunity to transform a business idea at every stage, from bidding for capital to purchasing and execution. 

Market Day is an accumulation of lessons from the classroom, and the opportunity to combine them to create a successful pop-up business. “Market day allows students to live out YE’s Foundational Values and the idea of Principled Entrepreneurship™,” shares three-year Mesa, Ariz., YE teacher Mandi Bolinger. “Whether the students are met with success or failure on Market Day, the takeaways are invaluable to the students and educators.”

While calculating profits after Market Day, educators witness “ah-ha” moments of pride and excitement as students experience real-life business successes like paying back a loan. Students discuss what they could have changed to increase their profits or make their business more successful. “It’s meaningful for me to watch as the students pick out all the Foundational Values during Market Day, from how they themselves used them to how they disliked that some of their customers didn’t embody the Foundational Values,” says Mandi. 

When planning for Market Day, Mandi encourages educators to “make sure you plan enough time, and create a checklist for yourself as well as for students. It may feel like you’ve scheduled too much time but it goes fast!” Another tip is to ensure that you have your dates set, for example what day(s) you are taking students shopping or the deadline for your Market Day loan. This can help keep everyone on track for success.

As for how the students can prepare, Mandi tells them to get creative and know your market. “Many students get caught up in what is easy or what they like. I am constantly reminding students to reflect on the Foundational Values of Win-Win Focus and Opportunity. Students who apply these two have successful Market Days.”

If you have ever been to a Market Day, you’ll agree the excitement and drive to succeed is palpable. “The whole school campus looks forward to those days,” says Mandi. “Students spend weeks making sure they cover all the bases and have everything in line, so I love to watch the student’s hard work come to fruition!”

Want to know more about Market Day? Check out the YE Market Day full lesson plan, resources and more!