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ECSD Workforce Programs Help Florida Propel U.S. to Surpass China in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Certifications

Young business leaders in training

Governor Ron DeSantis announced that more than 7,500 students have earned an entrepreneurship and small business (ESB) certification between July 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022.


Due to Florida’s leadership (accounting for nearly 30 percent of all certifications nationwide), the United States has now surpassed China in the number of ESB examinations delivered between January 2021 and March 2022, totaling 25,754 exams compared to China’s 16,199. Supporting access to ESB certifications is a part of Florida’s goal to be the best state in the nation for workforce education by 2030.

This represents the largest number of ESB certifications in the state’s history and now makes Florida #1 in the nation for achieving the globally recognized credential. Governor DeSantis has supported entrepreneurship and small business education throughout his time in office, including keeping Florida open over the past two years.

Locally, certifications earned through Workforce programs at Escambia County Schools have accounted for over 10% of the statewide total. ECSD schools have 771 passed Entrepreneurship and Small Business certifications so far this year.

      • West Florida High School – 296
      • Tate – 192
      • Pine Forest – 100
      • NVHS – 86
      • Washington – 70
      • PHS – 18
      • EHS – 9

“Students in Escambia County are learning the skills they need to become the business leaders of tomorrow,” said ECSD Director of Workforce Education Steven Harrell. “These certifications prove these students have learned the core concepts of entrepreneurship, like recognizing and evaluating opportunities; planning for, starting, and operating a business; marketing and sales; venture capital and seed funding; and financial management.”

The ESB certification is a globally recognized industry credential sponsored by Intuit that was added to FDOE’s Career and Professional Education (CAPE) List in early 2021. When paired with Intuit’s Design Thinking certification, Florida students will receive a Master Certification in Entrepreneurship, indicating an even greater understanding of core business principles. In addition, all certifications can articulate into college credit at any of the state’s Florida College System institutions.