“BizTown” – Where Kids Become Entrepreneurs

By: Mara Glazer on: January 29th, 2010 15 Comments

I had the absolute pleasure of spending the day yesterday with Jennifer Bodensiek, President of Junior Achievement of Central Maryland.

For those of you who don’t know what Junior Achievement (or “JA” as they call it) is, JA is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.

A large percentage of the kids who are touched by the JA program come from low income families.  In most instances the education they receive from JA about financial literacy and workforce readiness may be the only instruction they have on these most crucial life skills.

Jennifer took me on a tour of “BizTown”, which I have to say is probably one of the COOLEST things I have ever seen.  “BizTown” is a hands on learning environment that allows elementary school students to learn the relationship between what they learn in school and their successful participation in a worldwide economy.

The kids spend about 13 hours in the classroom preparing for their day at “BizTown” by interviewing for jobs, learning about banking, and understanding many of the other real world functions that adults experience from day-to-day.

When the kids arrive at “BizTown” they enter this simulated community and are overwhelmed with excitement.

The businesses in BizTown are sponsored by local businesses.  For instance, Best Buy houses a mini store and turns the kids into members of the “Geek Squad” who sell time playing “guitar hero” to the members of the “BizTown” community, Bank of America sponsors a mini bank where the kids come to deposit their pay checks and take out loans to run their businesses, and Papa Johns (where the kids are treated to a pizza lunch and also snacks provided by Frito Lay) is one of the towns hot spots.  The kids even need to buy insurance, pay taxes, and run their errands during their lunch hour.  Welcome to the real world! :)

At the OUTRAGEOUS Academy and Workshop, Glazer-Kennedy donated $100,000 to Junior Achievement from the proceeds of Bill Glazer’s book “OUTRAGEOUS Advertising That’s Outrageously Successful”.

To find out more about Junior Achievement and how you can get involved in your area go to http://www.ja.org

GKIC Pictures 009



Mara Glazer, daughter of Outrageous Marketing Guru Bill Glazer, takes her fans, followers, and friends on a behind the scenes look inside the Insider's Circle. Find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/maraglazergkic and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/maraglazergkic

15 Responses

  1. Rob Anspach says:


    thanks for sharing!


  2. Donna Kopf says:

    How cool is that!! In my elementary school we had a mini mailroom where we learned about the postal system and we sent addressed cards to our classmates, they were sorted in the mini mailroom and delivered the next day.

    But this is way cooler!

    Thanks for sharing Mara!

  3. Clearly, the possibilities are endless. Whether you want to open an online business or start off in retail, consulting or anything else, the opportunity is greater than ever to discover a need and capitalize on it. And if you’re thinking about joining the ranks of a growing army of young entrepreneurs, here’s a basic outline of how to get started: I used to love when it snowed as a kid growing up, because I would get to shovel it. No, I didn’t look forward to my parents forcing me to shovel my own driveway, but after I was complete with that I became my own little entrepreneur. Either by myself or with a friend I would walk around the neighborhood trying to get hired to shovel someone’s driveway. I did my research and would target the elderly in the development, who sometimes even if they had a plow scheduled to come would cancel it just because they could not resist a cute kid.

  4. Charles Ra says:

    world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs
    great source for future entrepreneurs!

    thanks for sharing Mara.

  5. Josh Cassel says:

    Sounds very cool! Wish I would have been able to go to something like that when I was a kid!

  6. It was awesome to see Bill hand that check to JA at the OUTRAGEOUS event.

    What a perfect charity for the President of GKIC to tie his book to.

    He practices what he and Dan Kennedy have been preaching for years.

    Looks like that was quite a fun day for you, Mara!

  7. Sounds like an amazing place…

    Maybe the IRS should sponsor (as in “pay for”) a place in BizTown where the kids could pay taxes on their wages too 😀

  8. Les Rose says:

    What an amazing concept, it really is brilliant, and getting the tie in with sponsored shops is little less than genius. Have looked over the http://www.ja.org website and it’s really inspirational.
    Simple, effective and contributing to society – can’t argue with that!

  9. JA needs a GKIC chapter!!!!

    no joke! for the $100k donation, Bill should get one!

  10. Come on!

    That last comment of mine didn’t make anything happen? :)

  11. Rob Anspach says:

    not a bad idea Rabbi…

    The GKIC JA chapter.

    Teaching young entrepreneurs the truth about real world marketing.

  12. It’s great to see worthy organizations like JA being supported in a meaningful way.

  13. Serena says:

    this looks like so much fun me & my class are gonna go this spring i want my job 2 be the DJ, Work @ best buy or work @ the cafe

  14. Serena says:

    wait am i the only KID on this website???????????????????????????????????? 😀 whatever!

  15. […] importance of giving back. Bill Glazer challenged the crowd to donate a minimum of one dollar to a new entrepreneur’s program through Junior Achievement to which both Bill and his daughter Mara have shared their time and […]

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