Entrepreneurship and Small Business Certification

The ESB certification is built to test and validate foundation-level concepts and knowledge in entrepreneurship and small business management. These core concepts include entrepreneurship; recognizing and evaluating opportunities; planning for, starting, and operating a business; marketing and sales; and financial management.

  • The entrepreneur

Identify the characteristics of entrepreneurs

Given a scenario including a selfassessment outcome, identify the strengths, weaknesses, and risk tolerance the selfassessment identifies and how to compensate with services

Given a scenario, recognize a business opportunity

Identify the risks, benefits, opportunities, and drawbacks of being an entrepreneur

  • Opportunity recognition

Identify the benefits and drawbacks of different types of opportunities (e.g., start a new business, buy an existing business, and buy a franchise)

Given a scenario, analyze the demand for the goods or service and opportunities in an environment

Given a scenario, identify the customers or potential customers for a business

Given a scenario, recognize a value proposition

  • Starting a business

Identify the purposes and value of a business plan

Identify the appropriate legal structure, benefits and drawbacks for different legal structures for a business

Given a scenario, identify different types of licenses and regulations that are required

Identify the benefits and drawbacks of various sources of start-up funding: Equity (friends/family, angels, venture), Debt (bank, credit cards, personal loans), and Grants (government, foundation, corporate)

Given a scenario, identify support that is available for the business on a local, state, and federal level

Identify the ethical practices and social responsibilities of a business

Identify potential exit strategies for a business

  • Business operations

Given a scenario, identify key positions and human capital needs(including compensation and benefits)

Given a scenario, determine whether work can be completed by the owner or whether employees or service providers are needed

Given a scenario, identify the taxes that are required

Given a scenario, identify intellectual property issues of trademarks, copyrights, and patents

Given a scenario, identify standard operating procedures (e.g., setup, conduct, internal controls, separation of duties)

Given a scenario, identify the factors that lead to sustainability

Given a scenario, identify milestones as part of a growth strategy

  • Marketing and sales

Given a scenario, develop a sales strategy and identify characteristics of a successful sale

Given a scenario, identify and analyze the costs/benefits of finding customers/li>

Given a scenario, identify how to retain customers and develop a relationship with repeat customers/li>

Given a scenario, determine value and methods of communication including: web sites, brochures, social media, and advertising

  • Financial management

Given a scenario, interpret basic financial statements such as income statements and balance sheets

Given a scenario, identify the factors that influence credit ratings and the importance of a positive credit rating

Given a list of expenses, identify which are fixed versus variable

Given a scenario, identify the factors that impact the price to the customer

Given a scenario, identify and analyze cash flow including: accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory, and debt

Given a scenario, create a cash flow budget

Given a scenario, identify the break-even point for the business

Download exam objectives

Take the next steps