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South Dakota Rural Enterprise Opportunity Roundup - entrepreneurial simulation

I was wondering if anyone on the listserv might know about a game or simulation that helps aspiring entrepreneurs work through the myriad of decisions and variables in starting a new venture. This could be targeted toward youth or adults; ideas for both would be great.

  • I’ve heard good things about Go Venture - Live the Life of an Entrepreneur but we don’t own a copy yet. Also, author Robert T. Kiyosaki has a board game out that’s received great reviews. The last time I checked its price it’s in the hundreds so we’ll have to wait on that one.

  • Here are a few others we have come across at the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship (most are geared towards youth):

  • I know Harvard has a game called Venture Out! subtitled "The definitive start-up tool set for new entrepreneurs." They also have the Balanced Scorecard game. I’ll see if anyone else is aware of anything.

  • There is a PC game called Capitalism that I know has been used for just the thing you are talking about in business schools from Stanford to Duke I believe. I have personally played the sequel, Capitalism II, and found it to be extremely effective. I went bankrupt and lost everything in a year because my raw goods escalated on the open market and began costing me a fortune. Made me glad I was in economic development, that's for sure:-) Here are a couple of interesting links about the game and how it's used for entrepreneurial education:

    And I found this quote amusing myself since I'm in the middle of getting my MBA in finance: “In the year 2000, Computer Gaming World named Capitalism among the fifteen most difficult games ever, saying: ‘[Capitalism is] so complicated it should come with a free MBA in every box.’ The magazine has also praised the game as highly enjoyable and addictive.”


  • University of Illinois Extension has a simulation with a curriculum called Going Solo ( that's been around for a few years. The audience is youth, for the most part, but easily adaptable for adult audiences. Participants start with $20,000 and create a product (piece of jewelry) and then make decisions around production numbers, price, target market, advertising, insurance, and so on, plugging all such decisions into a spreadsheet that will shoot back their outcomes. Ideally more than one person or team is playing so factors such as competition can come into play. There are numerous lessons (pricing, marketing, borrowing, and so on) with accompanying hands-on activities to reinforce the concepts. This is designed for a classroom or group environment, not self-led.


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