April 2024

Preliminary Round registration opens for 2024-2025

February 24th, 2025

Preliminary Round registration closes

March - April 2025

Preliminary Round qualifiers announcement
Harvard Championship Round qualifiers invitation
Harvard Championship Round registration opens

Late June/early July

Harvard Championship Round
On the campus of Harvard University
Only the Top participants from the Preliminary Round are invited




Preliminary Round registration opens



6th Preliminary Round registration closes



Preliminary Round qualifiers announcement
Harvard Championship Round preparation



27th - 1st of July Harvard Championship Round in Harvard University

What is the Harvard Crimson Business Competition?

Organized by The Harvard Crimson
A global competition for high school students to showcase their innovation
An opportunity for students to test their business acumen
Guidance from members of The Harvard Crimson and Harvard Alumni
Nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs

Life-changing experience


The Harvard Crimson, founded in 1873, is the oldest continuously published college daily newspaper in the world, reporting on Harvard University and beyond. The Harvard Crimson, entirely managed by Harvard students, publishes Monday through Friday (excluding holidays), with a weekly printed edition on Fridays. Since its inception, The Harvard Crimson has profoundly influenced campus life at Harvard University. Its coverage of campus events is widely followed by students, faculty, and a global audience.

The Crimson holds a rich history of journalism, featuring some of America's greatest journalists throughout its storied past. Among its accomplished alumni, over 40 have been honored with the Pulitzer Prize.

ASDAN is a charity and an awarding body from the UK focusing on skilled-based education for over 40 years. It offers qualications that carry UCAS points. In 2011, ASDAN UK and Seed International Group Ltd partnered to start ASDAN China. Following the same mission of ASDAN, ASDAN China endeavor its effort to bridge the best and most educational opportunities to students at all levels for the past 12 years. It holds partnerships with 40+ international organisations to run 100+ programs across different subjects to satisfy the diverse need of all learners.

ASDAN China currently cooperates with 1,310 international schools and key schools in 74 cities. From 2022 to 2023, more than 280,000 students and more than 5,200 teachers have participated in ASDAN China programs.

Pathway to the

Global Championship Round

Pathway to the

Harvard Championship Round

Preliminary Round

April 2024 - February 24th, 2025

Qualifiers Announcement

Invitation to the championship round

March - April 2025

Harvard Championship Round

On the campus of Harvard University

Late June/early July 2025

Participating Divisions

Senior Division

Grade 10-12

Individual / Team(Preliminary Round team size 3-8 people, Championship Round team size 3-4 people)

Junior Division

Grade 7-9

Individual / Team(Preliminary Round team size 3-8 people, Championship Round team size 3-4 people)

This year's prompt:

Innovation has changed our world. The Harvard Crimson Business Competition (HCBC) calls on the next generation of young entrepreneurs to think about global challenges and propose business plans.
In 2023, the A* Business Simulation entered a strategic partnership with The Harvard Crimson, providing a platform for young students worldwide to participate in the Harvard Crimson Business Competition. Teams participating in A* Business Simulation will will have the opportunity to participate in the HCBC Preliminary Round for free.

How to Submit Your Business Plan

Preliminary Round

Step 1: Participate in the A* Business Simulation

A* Business Simulation Introduction

Launched in 2011, the A* Business Simulation has attracted over 600 international and top secondarr schools each year, organizing over 470 events and involving 70,000 students globally. Using a project-based learning method, the simulation enables students to apply daily business knowledge, enhancing their skills in learning, market analysis, problem-solving, communication, and public speaking. With a commitment to cultivating future business leaders with a ffnancial mindset and a sense of social responsibility, ASDAN has incorporated the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the simulation, encouraging students to explore the connection between business and sustainable development.

In 2023, the A* Business Simulation entered a strategic partnership with The Harvard Crimson, providing a platform for young students worldwide to participate in a business innovation competition. Acknowledging the scarcity of social resources and the interconnected nature of enterprise and society, the program guides students in addressing social problems and nurturing socially responsible entrepreneurs focused
on sustainable development.

Step 2: Identity the Global Challenges

Through in-depth research and analysis of global challenges, you will identify potential business opportunities. Next, choose a challenge and develop an achievable, sustainable business plan to address it.

Global Warming

Business Plan for Sustainable Development

In recent years, global warming has intensified extreme weather conditions and presents a growing threat to many species on our planet. Statistics show that 13 million people lose their lives every year due to severe weather-related disasters. As a result, many major corporations have begun responding to the climate crisis through adopting sustainable business strategies. 

Example: Tesla is laying the foundation for a global low-carbon future through the promotion of electric vehicles and the adoption of renewable energy.

Business Plan for Quality Education

Education doesn’t just shape the future of families and individuals, it shapes the trajectory of regional, national and even global development. Yet, the level of education and quality of educational facilities differs significantly across various regions. A UNESCO 2023 survey on Quality Education found that only 40% of primary schools, 50% of secondary schools and 65% of high schools worldwide have online learning resources. Analyze the gap between educational needs and infrastructure within the target region. Be sure to explore strategies to achieve business success while promoting educational equity.

Example: Khan Academy is a platform founded by Sal Khan that removes geographical and financial barriers by providing free online learning resources to make quality education accessible to students around the globe.

Education Equality

Imbalanced Economy

Business Plan to Promote Economic Development

In 2022, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) data, Luxembourg boasted the highest per capita GDP — 127,560 US dollars — while Burundi had the lowest per capita GDP at 309 US dollars. This large and uneven gap between countries highlights the disparity in global economic development. Through innovations both domestically and internationally, measures can be taken to reduce this gap. Consider how your initiatives can contribute to balancing economies to facilitate broader business growth.

Example: As a Chinese e-commerce platform giant, Alibaba launched the Rural Taobao project to introduce e-commerce to China's rural areas. Thus, Alibaba helped farmers sell agricultural products and handicrafts, increased sources of income, and promoted economic development in rural areas.

Business Plan to Promote Climate Conscious Transportation

According to the United Nations Department of Transport, 91% of the energy used in land, sea and air motor transport comes from fossil fuels, accounting for about a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. Based on the World Energy Statistical Yearbook, the world is in a transition period between traditional and new energy sources - this energy shift is expected to usher in a new era for industries. We encourage you to explore new transportation business opportunities to guide society towards cleaner and more sustainable options.

Example: In recent years, the popularity of shared bicycles has solved the ‘last kilometer’ traffic problem through promoting resource sharing, encouraging green travel, energy conservation and emission reduction.

Sustainable Transportation

Food Security

Business Plan for Food Security

Food security remains a critical and longstanding challenge facing our world. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization, approximately 600 million people fall ill every year from eating food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites and chemicals, resulting in 420,000 fatalities. Addressing the need for access to high-quality food amid a growing global population is one of the biggest difficulties in today’s world. We encourage you to pursue a business-focused perspective, exploring avenues to critically engage and address this challenge.

Example: Longping High-tech revolutionized food production by developing high-yield, disease-resistant crop seeds, ensuring food security and quality.

Business Plan for Cybersecurity

Network security has become a major challenge in today’s digital age due to the widespread use of the Internet and rapid advancements in information technology. In 2023, the average cost of global data leakage is a staggering 4.45 million US dollars, raising substantial concerns among enterprises and individuals alike. The vulnerabilities in data security may lead to unforeseen security threats. We challenge you to explore technological solutions to secure networks, offering a dual benefit of risk mitigation and leadership in driving business innovation during the information age.

Example: Huawei uses cutting-edge face and fingerprint recognition technologies in their mobile phones, effectively reducing the risk of data theft while concurrently driving sales growth.

Information Security

Step 2: Select your Field

Through which field will you address your challenge?

Please choose one of the following fields. Then, use this field to create a solution to the challenge you selected.
For example, you may choose the science field to address the food insecurity challenge. An alternative approach may be to use the technology field to address the food insecurity challenge.


Where Vision Meets Opportunity!


Harnessing Technology's Evolutionary Edge!


Discovering Business Success in Sustainability's Promise!


Unlocking Prosperity, Business Flourishes in Entertainment's Boundless Arena

Fast-Moving Consumer Goods

Fast-Moving Success: Where Business Finds Its Home in FMCG's Growth

Step 3: Showcase Your Innovation

Refer to the PPT Structure Guidance

To submit your ideas to the Harvard Crimson Business Competition, please create a 14-18 slide powerpoint presentation using the format on the side.

Remember that the slides outline here is simply that, an outline! You are not bound to the exact slide ranges that we wrote above, but you should make sure to include all of the required information in the given order in no more than 18 total slides, but no less that 14 total slides.

Step 4: Congratulations! Please wait for the result announcements!

If you qualify for the Global Championship Round, you will be notified via email.
Stay tuned!

Judging Criteria

Your business plan should be highly feasible, backed by research, showcase realistic strategies and demonstrate a clear path to success.

Show your creativity and convince the audience that you have strong potential to pioneer new developments in the industry or market. Having clear, relevant, and well-organized content are pivotal elements that can significantly enhance a presentation’s effectiveness.
Marking Rubric Details >
the preliminary round rubric