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  • Sneha Sadarangani

Business and Economics Competition for High School Students

Updated: May 23

Imagine a stage where you can become an entrepreneur, economist, and innovator, all in one. That's the electrifying essence of business and economics competitions! From tackling real-world challenges to honing leadership skills, these events offer an exciting platform for high school students to unleash their potential. Here are a few programs that help you experience the dynamic nature of business and stand out in your college applications.

Program focus: The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School presents high school students with a unique opportunity to cultivate entrepreneurial and financial skills. Students work in teams of four- seven, under the guidance of a teacher advisor and have access to an online stock market simulator. The students must then trade, manage a portfolio and present a formal report including trading notes and their analysis. Overall this competition is a great chance for students to learn strategy-building skills, teamwork, communication and industry analysis. 

Registration Fee: Free

Eligibility: 14-18 years 

Location: Online pitching rounds with final presentations at the University of Pennsylvania

Registration Dates: June 5th - September 15th  2024 (based on last year’s timetable)

Competition Dates: September 2024 - April 2025

Program focus: This virtual competition is the largest pitch competition open to high school students around the world. Students get practical experience in entrepreneurship by creating and pitching their business plans to experienced professionals, receiving rounds of feedback, mentorship and support through Q& A and brainstorming sessions. 

Registration Fee: Free

Eligibility: 14- 18 years old  

Location: Online

Registration Date:  Anytime before 16th September 2024 (based on last year’s timetable)

Competition Date: September 2024 - April 2025

Program focus: This 12-week competition is perfect for students interested in both business and economics. The virtual portfolio management task of the competition teaches students to trade strategically and experience the real-time dynamic nature of the markets. Students also benefit from the training sessions hosted by Harvard Student Agencies Tutoring which focuses on developing critical thinking and pitching skills.

Registration Fee: Early Application Fee: $80 (USD); Regular Application Fee: $100

Eligibility: 14- 18 years 

Location: Online 

Dates: 27th July  - October 12th 2024

Registration Deadline: Early Application Date: 31st May 2024; Regular Application Date: 15th June 2024

Program focus: The Global Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge is a virtual 12-hour competition that challenges high school students to think on their feet and promote sustainability. The students are presented with a social issue-related challenge based on which they have to create a sustainable business model. This competition enables students to link science and technology with business to create a lasting sustainable solution to pressing global issues. 

Registration Fee: Free

Eligibility: 14- 19 years old; Students must form groups (max 8) to be able to participate. 

Location: Online

Registration Dates: February 1st - March 24th 2025 (based on last year’s timetable)

Competition Dates: April - May 2025

Program focus: HPEC is one of the world’s most prestigious economics competitions open to high school students. During the challenge, students are presented with a series of individual and team rounds for which they must engage, and analyse their knowledge of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and global economics. In addition to the challenge, students will have the opportunity to hear presentations from and interact with professors, graduate students, and real-world economists, and learn about the wider world of economics beyond the high school classroom.

Registration Fee: $ 125 (USD) 

Eligibility: 14-18 years old

Location: Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Dates:  13th April 2024

Registration Date: 10th March 2024

Program focus: Step into the shoes of a CEO or a consultant by participating in Harvard Crimson’s Case Competition. This competition brings the business case competition experience, usually reserved for university students, directly to high school students. During the competition, students learn to tackle unique business challenges and practice problem-solving tactics, as done by consultants. The structure of the competition also helps students to refine their skills in virtual workshops before competing. 

Registration Fee: Early bird: $10 (USD); Regular: $15 (USD) 

Eligibility: 14-18 years

Location: Online

Dates: 18th November 

Registration Deadline: October 12-16th

Program focus: Geared towards advancing literacy in finance and economics, the International Economics Olympiad (IEO) presents an invaluable opportunity. The Olympiad evaluates students' logical reasoning, creative application, and problem-solving abilities in economics, finance and business by providing students with three different tasks of various formats. The students must take a test of their knowledge in economics, apply their business acumen in a case challenge and exercise their financial skills in a game. This olympiad thus provides students with a unique insight into the financial and economic world. 

Eligibility: 14-18 years old  

Location: Online

Dates: July 2024

Registration Deadline: February 2024

Program focus: Founded by economists from Harvard and Oxford, the Bretton Woods Championship allows students to showcase their knowledge of economics. Students must write a selection round where they apply economics principles to real-world scenarios in multiple-choice and short-answer questions. Students then qualify for the final round where they use economic logic to present solutions to problems of economic policy and answer rapid-fire questions in an economics quiz bowl. 

Eligibility: 14-18 years old 

Location: Online 

Dates: 11th Feb 2025 (based on last year’s timetable)

Registration Deadline: 4th Feb 2025 (based on last year’s timetable)

Program focus: This international competition aims to inspire and support the next generation of leaders in economics. Teams representing schools engage in three or more rounds covering topics in micro and macroeconomics through multiple-choice questions and team presentations. Unlike traditional assessments, the WEC provides comprehensive academic guidance beforehand, ensuring a level playing field for participants worldwide. 

Eligibility: 14-18 years old 

Location: Online 

Dates: Based on region

Registration Deadline: April 2025 (based on last year’s timetable)

Program focus: Reach for the stars at the Conrad Challenge which has recently partnered with Space Centre Houston to bring high school students an experience like no other. The challenge allows students to combine science, technology and entrepreneurship by ideating business models which tackle pressing global issues. This competition is an excellent opportunity for students to learn from industry experts while expanding their collaboration, creativity and critical thinking skills.


Eligibility: 13-18 years old

Location: Online with the final summit at Space Centre Houston

Dates: November 2024 

Deadline: August 2024

To understand which of these programs is ideal for you, speak to your mentors at OnCourse who will be able to make the most effective recommendations keeping in mind your interests, your current academic standing and your resume. If you are not enrolled with OnCourse, reach out to set up a consultation meeting to understand more about our mentoring programs for students from Grade 8 to Grade 12. 

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