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The ESB certification is built to test and validate foundation-level concepts and knowledge in entrepreneurship and small business management. These core concepts include entrepreneurship; recognizing and evaluating opportunities; planning for, starting, and operating a business; marketing and sales; and financial management
Country-Specific Exam versus Universal Exam
ESB Country-specific exams test on specific knowledge about doing business in a particular country. Currency and terminology is targeted to specific countries. ESB candidates should select a country-specific exam when available
ESB Universal exams are suitable for any ESB candidate around the world. All currencies are in Euros


The entrepreneur

Identify the characteristics of entrepreneurs
Given a scenario including a self assessment outcome, identify the strengths, weaknesses, and risk tolerance the self assessment identifies and how to compensate with services
Given a scenario, recognize a business opportunity
Identify the risks, benefits, opportunities, and drawbacks of being an entrepreneur

Identify the benefits and drawbacks of different types of opportunities (e.g., start a new business, buy an existing business, and buy a franchise)
Given a scenario, analyze the demand for the goods or service and opportunities in an environment
Given a scenario, identify the customers or potential customers for a business
Given a scenario, recognize a value proposition

Identify the purposes and value of a business plan
Identify the appropriate legal structure, benefits and drawbacks for different legal structures for a business
Given a scenario, identify different types of licenses and regulations that are required
Identify the benefits and drawbacks of various sources of start-up funding: Equity (friends/family, angels, venture), Debt (bank, credit cards, personal loans), and Grants (government, foundation, corporate)
Given a scenario, identify support that is available for the business on a local, state, and federal level
Identify the ethical practices and social responsibilities of a business
Identify potential exit strategies for a business

Given a scenario, identify key positions and human capital needs(including compensation and benefits)
Given a scenario, determine whether work can be completed by the owner or whether employees or service providers are needed
Given a scenario, identify the taxes that are required
Given a scenario, identify intellectual property issues of trademarks, copyrights, and patents
Given a scenario, identify standard operating procedures (e.g., setup, conduct, internal controls, separation of duties)
Given a scenario, identify the factors that lead to sustainability
Given a scenario, identify milestones as part of a growth strategy

Given a scenario, develop a sales strategy and identify characteristics of a successful sale
Given a scenario, identify and analyze the costs/benefits of finding customers
Given a scenario, identify how to retain customers and develop a relationship with repeat customers
Given a scenario, determine value and methods of communication including: web sites, brochures, social media, and advertising

Given a scenario, interpret basic financial statements such as income statements and balance sheets
Given a scenario, identify the factors that influence credit ratings and the importance of a positive credit rating
Given a list of expenses, identify which are fixed versus variable
Given a scenario, identify the factors that impact the price to the customer
Given a scenario, identify and analyze cash flow including: accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory, and debt
Given a scenario, create a cash flow budget
Given a scenario, identify the break-even point for the business