American Enterprise Day is observed on November 15 each year. On this day, U.S. residents recognize free enterprise and how it has contributed to the economy.
Free enterprise means that a business is not restricted by government subsidies or regulations. Instead, the business operates under the laws of supply and demand. If a particular product or service is in great demand but supply is low, then it becomes more valuable to the consumer. As a result the price goes up. When supply is high and demand is low, then the price falls.
Healthy competition between businesses is a good thing for consumers. It helps to keep prices in line. Business owners also know that in order to keep customers coming back, they need to offer their products or services at a fair price. Good customer service policies are also a must; otherwise, buyers will choose to do business with another company. Thanks to the free enterprise system, they can make that choice.
Origin of American Enterprise Day
Jimmy Carter made a Presidential Proclamation on August 8, 1980 directing that American Enterprise Day be observed. Chevron Corporation provided a grant to fund a program called "Getting Involved" in the 1980s to expose young people to capitalism through Future Business Leaders of America.
Future Business Leaders of America
Future Business Leaders of America is a non-profit association that helps prepare students for careers in business. Young people from middle school up to the post-secondary level are able to join this organization, which now has 244,000 members and 11,000 advisers.
Activities for American Enterprise Day
Local Chapters of Future Business Leaders of America observe Enterprise Day each year. It's an opportunity to not only celebrate the free enterprise system and the advantages of doing business in this way, but also to educate other people about it. Projects undertaken by local groups have included the following:
- Presenting ideas about business in the form of skits and songs to elementary school students
- Preparing activity books for students in primary grades (K-5)
- Running an essay contest for high school students; the winning entry is published in the local newspaper
- Providing students in Grade 8 with information about the free enterprise system and how it affects the job market
- Preparing a workbook for Grade 8 students with tips on how to choose an occupation, how to research salary information, and how to apply for a job
- Have local business operators share information about the joys and headaches of being their own boss
- Conduct a seminar about the challenges that women or visible minorities face when running their own business
Enterprise Day is an occasion that deserves to be celebrated. Unless you are self-employed or working for a government agency, the fact that you have a job is due to the fact that someone took a chance on starting their own business. Part of the reason that it is observed is to acknowledge that people living in the United States can choose the occupation they would like to pursue. Business owners make it possible for people buy products and services that they need in their everyday lives.
Through an organization like Future Business Leaders of America, young people who are curious about the world of business can learn the fundamentals of becoming entrepreneurs from experienced advisers. They have the opportunity to participate in activities that will increase their confidence, and also to make valuable contacts with like-minded young people. These contacts can prove to be important in future years as they launch their own business ventures.