BRAC, state agencies offering small business credential through Louisiana Jumpstart Program

Business Report

High school students in Louisiana who want to own their own business in the future can now gain valuable skills through a new credential program created by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber in collaboration with other statewide agencies, teachers and experts.

The BRAC Micro-Enterprise Credential will be offered as part of the state Department of Education’s career and technical education Jumpstart Program, which offers teaching and skills in high-demand job sectors, BRAC announced in a news release this morning.

Through the credential program, students will be able acquire critical business information and skills in multiple career paths, as well as learn basic communications and business skills and gain confidence in interacting with adults. BRAC says it will also help students graduate on time and gain entry-level employment.

“The Micro-Enterprise Credential not only prepares students for employment in a variety of industries upon graduation, but it also equips those who aspire to launch new small business enterprises as entrepreneurs,” says Adam Knapp, president and CEO of BRAC, in a prepared statement.

To obtain the credential, students must master five components—complete a self-assessment about their personal strengths and interests, perform a self-assessment presentation with a workplace mentor, demonstrate basic knowledge of credit and capital applications, learn about forming a new business and complete a comprehensive online test.

The pilot program for the Micro-Enterprise Credential launched this spring in five regional high schools, including Baton Rouge’s Woodlawn High. The program “offers challenging, high-value performance task and conceptual material,” says David Wilburn, the educator leading Woodlawn’s credential implementation.

“Holding this credential proves to potential employers that students have mastered critical skills needed to be a top-performing employee, and also means that our students have the information and insights they need to one day become an entrepreneur that starts his or her own business,” Wilburn says in a prepared statement.

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