Welcome to the first installment of our Explore Business mini-site for high school students, a gateway to conversations, readings and activities that help you think more deeply about business. We begin our exploration with Wharton’s Beyond Business, a series of discussions that tackle the complex and pressing issues affecting individuals and organizations. The first three sessions in the series focus on the impact of systemic racism on business and society, and how it can be confronted.

Erika James, Dean of The Wharton School, hosted the first Beyond Business session “Race and the Entrepreneur” on October 21, 2020, along with moderator Karl Ulrich, Wharton’s vice dean of entrepreneurship and innovation. They engaged with panelists Chris Bennett, the founder of Wonderschool, and Josh Kopelman, managing partner at First Round Capital venture fund.

The activities on this page connect to the “Race and the Entrepreneur” discussion and provide opportunities for high school students to Explore Business. The linked worksheets will help guide your exploration of the shorter video segments and the concepts. Enjoy discovering new business insights – and contributing your own ideas to this important conversation.

Our biggest issue around race is that we are still uncomfortable having a candid discussion about it… As a business school, we have a responsibility to provide the tools that will allow future leaders the ability to listen, talk, and learn from the experiences of others when it comes to race and its impact.

— Wharton Dean Erika James

The Full Discussion:
Race and the Entrepreneur

Explore the Video Themes

Meet the Entrepreneur

Following a brief intro to the Race and the Entrepreneur discussion, Chris Bennett, CEO of Wonderschool, discusses his entrepreneurship journey and diverse background.

Meet the Venture Capitalist

Josh Kopelman, managing partner at First Round Capital, talks about the venture capital industry’s poor track record funding entrepreneurs of color.

Conveyer Belt of Conformity

A look at how venture capitalists might begin to think differently about what makes a successful entrepreneur, and an introduction to the concept of the financial safety net.

Raising Seed Money

Entrepreneurs need capital to start their businesses, but not everyone has the same access to funding sources – here’s what works.

Advancing Black Entrepreneurship

The value of mentors, and an important story that illustrates how venture capitalists sometimes bring their own experiences and biases to the process of deciding where they will invest their money.

The Power of Privilege

Understanding white privilege as a concept and how it can become a force for change in the entrepreneurial world.

For Teachers and Students

The Teacher Guide is a resource to help educators understand the purpose of Wharton’s Beyond Business lecture series and provide guidance for using the videos and worksheets on this page, as well as navigating these issues in the classroom. We have also created a Choice Board for students to choose from a selection of individual projects and activities that help them explore various “Race and the Entrepreneur” themes and apply them to their own experiences. The student activity choices are meant to support in-person and remote classroom learning.

Explore Business with Wharton Global Youth

Our Explore Business mini-sites are gateways to conversations, readings and activities that inspire high school students to think more deeply about issues affecting business and society. Dig into these Wharton-powered learning opportunities wherever and whenever you want to explore timely and compelling topics. Our mini-sites include: