Empowering and Impacting the Next Generation

Washington Business Week is a unique opportunity like no other. We place business professionals with high school students in a dynamic workplace simulation for a week during the summer where students role-play as industry professionals, launch a company, and solve real-world challenges.

Backed by over 100 Washington state organizations and businesses, including Microsoft, Boeing, PEMCO Insurance, and Costco, we have sent more than 73,000 students and 6,000 business professionals through our programs.

A year of continued growth and dynamic innovation – 2021.  

To review this year’s accomplishments, we must first look back. In 2019, WBW had partnered with a software company to replace the business simulation that was used at camps – BIZSim. Soon, the new program, Washington’s Innovative Learning Environment (WILE) was in development and slated for testing in early 2020.

Like many organizations during the spring of 2020, WBW felt the impact and uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Our ability to continue providing programs hinged on delivering the new software sooner than anticipated. Through effective leadership and a devoted staff, WBW pivoted its program delivery and hosted three virtual camps in 2020, serving 273 students from across the world.

The WBW team leveraged 2020 learnings to go above and beyond for 2021. Actions included accrediting 2021 virtual programs through Renton Technical College (RTC), building on a robust partnership. WBW also provided a broader curriculum offering through three new pathways in Clean Energy, Telehealth, and an elevated Advanced Business focus. The WBW team further enhanced the learning experience by incorporating support systems like Blackboard into the programming. WBW also conducted its first-ever Spring Break Business Week. In all, WBW provided six virtual camps across four immersive pathways in 2021.

WBW successfully delivered the “magic” of Business Week even in a virtual environment. We look forward to offering our important, transformational programs both in-person and virtually in 2022.

Read the full 2021 Washington Business Week Annual Report

 Our 2020 Virtual Program Pivot in the Pandemic….

The heart of Washington Business Week (WBW) will always be our in-person programs on college campuses. The traditional programming structure helps students build confidence, work-ready skills, leadership, communication, teamwork, public speaking, and critical-thinking competencies. We are eager to get back on campuses when it is safe to do so.

The national camp industry crumbled in the wake of Covid-19. For example, in 2019, twenty-three (23) states offered a business week program. Of those aforementioned programs, only WBW delivered to camp in 2020. Further still, only a handful offered students a leadership development opportunity by implementing a speaker series.

Despite the impact the pandemic has had on the camp industry, we are very proud to say that WBW was the sole business week able to continue offering leadership programming in June, July, and August of this year. We also launched a six-week speaker series on relevant topics for youth. Our spring speaker series videos have been viewed over 3000 times. Thank you to PEMCO for sponsoring the fall speaker series.

Our ability to move to a virtual platform was due to the investment we made in 2019. The investment was focused on modernizing our business simulation software known as BIZSim. WBW has long strived to offer an updated and technologically savvy business simulation to all our students. This summer, WBW fulfilled its goal by rolling out the new simulation software named, Washington’s Innovative Learning Environment or WILE for short. WILE is a web-based simulation that is also accessible as a mobile app. The implementation of WILE has allowed WBW to significantly reduce financial barriers for students interested in participating in the virtual program.

In addition to limiting financial barriers that may inhibit student involvement, the updated system has also eliminated any geographical distances impact on student participation and engagement. By coupling our new software with Zoom Breakout Rooms, we were able to deliver the virtual camp to students across Washington, the United States, Poland, and the Republic of Georgia.

View our 2020 Data and Performance Metrics Report – WBW 2020 Camp Analytics

2019 Results -Overnight and Day Program – before the pandemic. 

Thousands of students experience the Washington Business Week model, learning teamwork, leadership, and innovation.

  • Over 53% of students are low-income
  • 40% are young people of color
  • 100% of summer participants earn college credit to put them on the path to postsecondary success

In 2019, we served 1,590 high school students and had the support of 200 volunteers.

Read more about WBW’s 2019 season with our 2019 WBW Annual Report

When I was told the program would change my life, I didn’t realize how true it would be. . . . Washington Business Week has taught me so much more than just how to succeed in a professional setting. I am now comfortable speaking in front of a large group of people and leading a group of strangers to success. Not only can I read financial reports and write a business plan, I can make new friends I will keep for a lifetime in a group of people I have only known for a week. . . . Business Week has taught me to step out of my comfort zone, take risks, and take responsibility for my actions.

– Gillian Whelan, 2009 & 2010 BW Participant, University of Washington Student