Practical, hands-on experience in managing a successful student-run business
“A shop, or store, could be established…and here the students could easily sell and bring their produce of their fields and garden, and other things that they have made.”  ~ Maria Montessori, From Childhood to Adolescence.

The Microeconomy is a hallmark component of Hershey Montessori School’s Adolescent Community. Dr. Montessori envisioned adolescents participating in and managing small business endeavors in order to experience economic activity in their community–the “microeconomy.”

Hershey students participate in real economic activity as an introduction to economic life.  This work serves a first step towards economic independence as well as allowing them to measure the worth of their activity against an external standard.

Hershey’s younger adolescents participate in projects to study economics and to further create, modify, or promote the community’s economic activities. They regularly work on production of items in the woodshop and growing food on the farm. Some middle school students become managers of specific areas of the microeconomy, developing further responsibility and community contribution.

Older students begin to take on adult-level roles of management and business design, developing new businesses and taking workshops in financial literacy, entrepreneurship, business management, marketing and sales, and business law.

Hershey’s microeconomy provides students with real-world, experiential learning in all areas of business operations. As students are given hands-on experiences and step into leadership roles, they more easily comprehend the various aspects of entrepreneurship, helping to lead them to eventual mastery of the areas that most greatly interest them.

An important component of the microeconomy is the “Hershey Market.” The Hershey Market provides students with the authentic experience of operating a business. Students’ creative and intellectual process are stimulated as they embark on the essential skills of design, production, exchange, and finance management, which promote the development of the adolescent toward understanding and taking part in adult society.