Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week provides practical, hands-on education not found in any other business program. Students are immersed in the exciting world of business, and in one short week, they come to understand and appreciate our American free enterprise system, leaving with a newfound passion and clarity for their future. Most students tell us they learned more during one week at PFEW than they have in a classroom for an entire year. That's real impact.
Participants form teams of approximately 16 students and one adult business mentor and become the management team of an underperforming manufacturing company in direct competition with other student companies. They are responsible for all aspects of business operations, including management, production, sales and marketing, HR, finance, corporate communications, and more.
The core activity of the week is our BizSim Competition. For 12 business quarters, student teams use a complex college-level simulation owned by FFEE to determine their selling price, marketing costs, production levels and budgets, banking needs, research and development costs, and more – in short, the same decisions modern business owners make daily. They try to turn their company around as they compete for the highest Return On Equity.
Teams must also create an extensive marketing plan for their company. They determine their target audience and selling price, design product features, create print, broadcast and web advertising, and present their campaign to a panel of judges at week's end. Collaboration, teamwork, creativity, and innovation are the hallmarks of this competition.
Throughout the week, world-class speakers address the students on a wide variety of topics including Business Ethics, Business and Government, Leadership, Effective Communication, Teamwork, Career Development, Entrepreneurship, and more, all geared toward the students' personal and professional development. Other activities include an ethics case study debate, a competitive quiz bowl, daily interaction with business leaders and speakers, and full immersion in the college experience.
But the greatest reward of PFEW is seeing students discover the excitement, risks, and rewards of business and gain a newfound understanding and appreciation for the power and freedom of the American private enterprise system.