Top Business Competitions For High School Students

As a high-school student, are you someone who has ideas for creating a business of your own?  Someone who identifies a problem and wants to solve it using innovative ways? Do you have the drive and the skill to turn an idea into reality and impact the broader communities? Are you also considering studying Business in college? Then you must participate in some of the top Business competitions available for high-school students. 

While winning any competition is a bonus, these competitions offer great learning opportunities. The practical application of business principles will bring you closer to solving a real-life problem making you think out of the box and work collaboratively to come up with your unique solution. This inspires creativity and develops problem-solving skills. The rigorous nature of these competitions boosts your college profile and enables you to showcase your genuine interest in studying Business and showcases your leadership skills.

These are some of the reputed business competitions that you can consider participating in.

1. Wharton Global High School Investment Corporation

Location: Virtual

Cost: Free

Dates: September – December

Application deadlines: Mid-September. (Please check the website for the latest information)

The Wharton Global High School Investment Competition provides a unique opportunity for students of grades 9-12,  to immerse themselves in the world of finance. Getting access to a stock-market simulator, students under the guidance of teachers will gain hands-on experience in investing and finance. They will explore concepts like risk management and company analysis thereby developing essential skills like critical thinking, teamwork, and financial literacy.

If you want to boost your practical financial skills and enhance your ability to work collaboratively gaining a headstart in the field of finance, this is an ideal program for you.

2. The Blue Ocean Competition

Location: Virtual

Cost: Free

Contest dates: February – April (Registration is now open for 2025)

Application deadlines: February


Blue Ocean, which started as a small competition by a high school student in Maryland in 2014, grew from being limited to a few states to eventually becoming a global one. The main mission of the Blue Ocean Competition is to engage and inspire high school students between the age group of 14-18 years. The students are provided with the tools to learn entrepreneurship helping them to come up with a business idea and compete with worldwide participants. This is considered to be one of the biggest competitions in the world. In 2022-23 there were 5,209 participants from 146 countries and territories. These students and teams pitch their innovative business concepts to established and experienced entrepreneurs. Being a high-level competition, students are required to be resilient and tenacious. They not only gain valuable practical experience but also get to test their ideas and develop pitching skills against the best and brightest kids in the world. 


Location: Conferences vary in location (different cities around the US) 

Cost: Fees differ per conference

Contest dates: April

Application deadlines: November 15

DECA stands on four pillars where it empowers teachers to teach students through classroom activities and guides students to apply learning. This experiential learning enables students to connect businesses and promote competition. This strong interconnectedness ensures students are college and career-ready. DECA’s Comprehensive Learning Program. Through this pedagogical approach, DECA ensures students are academically prepared, community-oriented as conscious citizens, understand professional ethics and integrity, and become experienced leaders. The program aims to develop the 21st-century skills of the students such as critical thinking, collaboration, communication, information literacy, etc.  Most DECA participants have opted for Business programs in their colleges. You can find more information about the competitions here Competitive Events | High School | DECA Inc. Some fields of competition are Personal Finance, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality, etc. Collegiate DECA Guide 2023-2024 by DECA Inc. – Issue

4. Young Entrepreneur Academy

Location: Various US/ROW

Cost: Please check the website for information

Contest dates: Differs from state to state

Application deadlines: According to the region

YEA prides itself on over 7,700 students having launched more than 5,100 real businesses and non-profits, cool inventions, and fun ideas. From teaching English to kids in foreign countries to reducing our carbon footprints YEA students have successfully done world-changing activities. The testimony of the program is found in the fact that students have been covered in national magazines, TV shows, and on the news.YEA! Introduces students to the world of business by integrating a proven curriculum with the experiences of local industry, community members, and educators, and have even pitched their businesses to the Shark Tanks.

You can view the program locations and apply for the program, here. Success Stories | Young Entrepreneurs Academy (

5. Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition

Location: Virtual 

Cost: Free

Contest dates: June 1 – August 31

Application deadlines: July 31

The Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition aims to empower young change-makers to work towards creating a more sustainable world. Each of the ideas submitted by students has to be aligned with the 17 SDGs and have an overarching theme of social entrepreneurship and impact in the areas of social, economic, environmental, and health challenges of our time. The competition is divided into two categories idea and project. Once the idea/project submitted meets the requirements, the students are invited to complete the courses and work on their Entrepreneurial Design.  In the second phase, all ideas and projects are published and the participants can vote and collect votes. A maximum of 10 submissions with the most votes will move on to the third phase, where an expert jury will select the winners. “The winners will be announced at the CEC award ceremony, which takes place in an online ceremony.” The  Entrepreneurship Campus now has members from 141 nations. 

Learn more about the history of the CEC and the Entrepreneurship Campus

You can read about the procedure of application here; Procedure of the CEC – Stiftung Entrepreneurship

Apart from the programs mentioned above, there are quite a few competitions that students can participate in. STUDENTS FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP (SAGE) where you can participate by forming a team and identifying a global need. The Competition – Diamond Challenge provides a platform for young students to embark on an entrepreneurial journey by helping them turn their passion into meaningful social ventures. The Young Founders Lab is a start-up boot camp founded and run by Harvard entrepreneurs. These competitions are effective ways of cultivating the minds of young learners and deepening their understanding of the world of entrepreneurship.

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