High School Business Challenge
The Montana Chamber Foundation sponsors an exciting business simulation called the Montana High School Business Challenge (HSBC). The program runs for eight weeks each semester of classes, spring and fall.
Over 1,500 students compete annually in the HSBC, with more than 20,000 Montana students participating since its inception. Scholarships awarded total over $80,000.
Although it is called the High School Business Challenge, some primary schools and some colleges offer it, as well. Our goal is to eventually offer the Business Challenge in every Montana high school, as well as some colleges and private schools.
Contact High School Business Challenge Coordinator, Stacye Dorrington at 888-442-MONT (6668) ext. 100 or Stacye@MontanaChamber.com
to see how you can get involved!
Business Advisors Sought!
Saturday, April 29 will be the "Business Challenge Bowl", with the "Sweet 16" (top eight teams from each semester) competing for top honors and scholarships. Teams will be required to complete four inputs, representing four business quarters, with final team standings based on the stock price at the end of the last quarter.
Business advisors will be on hand throughout the Challenge Bowl (at a school in your community) to discuss business acumen and impart real-life knowledge to students. Advisors are not expected, not is it desired, to assist with the simulation.
Business Advisor training will take place via webinar on Tuesday, April 11 at 3:00 pm and again on Thursday, April 18 at 10:00 am. Please email Stacye@MontanaChamber.com
if you would like to sign up for the training and/or to serve as a Business Advisor.
Spring Challenge is Underway!
Click on the week in the table below (when available) to view weekly team stock prices and outcomes.
How To Contribute
Learn more about the Kelly Kuntz Memorial Scholarship Fund here
Click here for the HSBC brochure, including a sponsorship form.
How It Works
Participants form teams of two to five students. Each week, they make all the operating decisions for their simulated business which manufactures and markets a Digital Music Player. The decision inputs are then matched against the other teams in the competition as all teams "go to market", competing against one another.
Each week of classroom decisions represents a business quarter. The game runs for eight weeks during a semester, or the equivalent of two years in their business cycle.
Students make decisions in:
"I just want you to know how 'hooked' my kids are on HSBC. It's ALL they want to do and I am so glad they are competing. They have learned more about business from this simulation in 5 weeks, than they will ever learn from our text book all year long. It is outstanding."
Tamaira Wacker, Instructor, Melstone High School
How Students Compete
Each week (business quarter), the Montana Council on Economic Education
(MCEE) game administrator collects the team decisions, evaluates them against “competitors” (other teams), computes the sales for that quarter, and returns the results to the teams, who then make new decisions.
Each team starts with a stock price of $25/share. The final stock price is based on:
"As a sophomore in college, I look back at my high school career and realize that two of the best decisions I made were enrolling in Mrs. McFarland's accounting classes and participating in the Business Challenge. The basic principles that were applied in the Business Challenge have definitely carried over into several of my accounting and economics classes.
In all honesty, when doing homework or listening to lectures on financial topics, it is as if those who have participated in the Business Challenge actually have established some sort of prior knowledge or background on the subject and can easily relate.
Generally speaking, the Business Challenge has proven to be very advantageous in my pursuit of a Business Economics/Political Science degree, and I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to participate." former Conrad HSBC student team member and Carroll College Student
The top eight teams from the fall and spring semesters compete against each other in the 'Business Challenge Bowl', the last Saturday in April. Teams are assigned a 'Business Mentor' from their community who will be available to discuss business acumen and offer assistance as needed. Teams complete four inputs (equivalent to decisions made throughout four business quarters) and final team standings are based upon final stock price. Participants from the first place team will each receive a $1,000 scholarship. Second place finishers receive a $750 scholarship each; third place team members each receive a $500 scholarship. Teams not finishing in the top three will receive a $100 scholarship per student.
Other scholarships are awarded for finishing in the top quartile of stock prices and for realizing the largest stock price rebound from the mid-point of the competition until the final week. These scholarships are awarded at the conclusion of the fall semester and the spring semester. Team members receive a $100 scholarship each.
The Montana Chamber Foundation is pleased to partner with Reach Higher Montana
to coordinate and leverage those awards. Winners are also presented with recognition plaques at a ceremony in their community. Teachers of the top team each semester are also recognized and rewarded.
Besides Reach Higher Montana
noted above, the Montana Chamber Foundation
contracts with the Montana Council on Economic Education
to provide teachers the materials and support to conduct the High School Business Challenge as part of their curriculum. Teachers still attend business education seminars held throughout Montana but they also attend a four-hour HSBC training program before they can offer the HSBC in their respective schools. After the training, teacher/instructors then schedule the High School Business Challenge for students in their business, math, and social studies classes.
"HSBC has been a great way to take the lessons learned in the classroom and apply them in a more real world, hands-on situation. The students respond well when they see the connection between the classroom and the world of work." Janie McFarland, Instructor, Conrad High School
If you are an educator interested in offering the Montana High School Business Challenge to your high school or college age students, please contact us. If your school is not in HSBC (see our list
) and you can help us to contact a specific, interested instructor, please let us know, or help by sponsoring the High School Business Challenge program by going to our brochure
and completing the sponsor form.
We would be happy to answer any of your questions. For more information on the Montana High School Business Challenge contact Stacye Dorrington (HSBC Coordinator) at 888-442-MONT888-442-MONT FREE (6668) ext. 100 or Stacye@MontanaChamber.com
The High School Business Challenge follows the former Business Week, an annual week-long program on the MSU-Bozeman campus that taught high school students business principles from 1978-1998. Today, HSBC goes directly into the classroom.
is a listing of winners of the HSBC since its inception in 2000: