How to Start a SAGE Program

To start a SAGE program:

• A prospective state or country “SAGE Coordinator” expresses an interest in championing a SAGE program in their region
• The SAGE Coordinator invites at least three high schools to participate
• To qualify for the state or regional tournament, a team of high school students is organized, and then this team must complete ventures aimed at meeting the ten SAGE judging criteria
• The first key to starting a team on a high school campus is to find a motivated faculty coach/adviser An effective way to do this is for the coordinator to make presentations to a high school teacher, principal or school board
• The second key to starting a team is to find an enthusiastic group of student leaders who are interested in entrepreneurship and community service
• Once a high school has decided to participate, the teacher who becomes the adviser contacts the SAGE state or country coordinator to notify them of their intent to participate (if you are in a state or country that does not have a SAGE program, we will work with you to start one as soon as possible).

A high school team must complete at least (1) one new entrepreneurship activity, (2) one continuing entrepreneurship activity (if they have one) and (3) one community service venture during the academic year. The size of the team can be as few as five members and as many as the entire high school.

The high school SAGE team may be part of an existing class, such as an economics, accounting, general business or Virtual Enterprise class, or it can be an active student organization (e.g., Student Government, FBLA, DECA, Junior Achievement, Rotary Interact, Virtual Enterprise, FFA, FHA-Hero, Skills USA, Technology Student Association). SAGE in not a competitor for existing high school business organizations, and it does not advocate any one curriculum over another; however, we do recommend certain entrepreneurship programs that are widely-known and respected, such as the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship—NFTE—curriculum (see and Junior Achievements Company Program SAGE is an exciting new avenue to showcase the activities completed by the high school SAGE students in front of influential leaders and to develop a direct connection to your nearby college through the SAGE mentor/consultant criterion.

There is no fee or cost to join the SAGE network.

Note: Some entrepreneurial youth prefer to work alone, and we invite them, too, into SAGE. However, such students must be official members of the SAGE team in their school or organization. This way, the individual student will have the opportunity to showcase his or her personal business venture to a panel of influential judges, but they must do so as part of the collective team effort. In other words, the SAGE team is encouraged to include individual efforts as part of the entire group effort.

To indicate their intention to compete, a SAGE team or club must notify their state or country SAGE coordinator at least two months before competition.

If only one (or possibly two) high school in a state or country that does not have a SAGE coordinator wants to participate in a national tournament, SAGE HQ reserves the right to invite this high school to represent that state in order to launch SAGE in new areas.