School-Based Assessment

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The CSEC Principles of Business examination consists of three papers which are:

  • Paper 1 60 multiple choice questions,
  • Structured questions,
  • School-Based Assessment.

The School-Based Assessment (SBA) is a research project which every CSEC Principles of Business students must take and it accounts or contributes 20 percent to the final examination score.  Students are really expected to do a part of a business plan and the topic should be “Establishing a Business” and it should be could come under any of the following:

  • Marketing
  • Production
  • Finance

The following is a sample SBA Project presentation which can be used as a guide by students in the preparation of their SBA research project. 


The topic is “Forming you Own Business” and it is based on the topic “Establishing a Business.”  This will require the formulation of a Business Plan to convince the Companies Registrar and financial institutions which you intend to approach for financing of the viability of the business.   The length of the project should be between 1,000 and 2,000 words.  You will lose marks if you exceed this word limit.  In addition, do not use the exact wording of the authors in any textbook.  Try and put their work and writing in your own words.  Ensure that your grammar, spelling and vocabulary are correct for this level of work. 

Presentation of the SBA Report

  • The research report should be typed in double spacing in Times Roman font with a written font size of 12 for the body of the report and 14 for the titles or headings.
  • It is advisable to have a well coloured page cover. However, the only colours for the body of the report must be restricted to graphs.
  • The first page after the cover page should have the following contents:
  • Name of Student
  • Centre Number
  • Subject
  • Teacher’s Name
  • Date of Submission
  • Year
  • Registration Number which will be provided by your school.
  • You should have a Table of Contents with corresponding numbers after the outlining of the topic.
  • You should have an Executive Summary after the Table of Contents. The Executive is really like a brief review of the findings of the report.  This means that it must be done after the project and report has been completed and it should be restricted to one page.
  • A Bibliography must be included at the end of the report.

Topic: Establishing a New Business – Marketing

Word Plan:

Description of Business Form of Business
Regulatory Issues
  • Explain the regulatory requirements for the establishing of the business
  • Explain reasons for the location of the business.
Factors Mix
  • Labour – labour requirements
  • Capital – capital requirements
  • Entrepreneur – role of the entrepreneur
Market research
  • Primary or Secondary
Source of Funding
  • Debt or equity or other
  • Restate the product
  • Explain branding and packaging regarding the product
  • State and justify the pricing strategy
  • Where do buyers look for your product or service?
  • How can you access the right distribution channels?
  • Explain the promotional strategies.
  • Who will your customers be?
Consumer Behaviour/ Complaints
  • Discuss what will impact on the behavior of customers of the business.
  • Explain how the business will prevent complaints from customers.
Ethical Issues
  • These will include the business being fair to customers in terms of quality and marketing of the product.

Description of the Business

For this section, students should have the following information:

  • The name of your business.
  • The form of business whether the business is sa sole trader, a partnership, a private limited liability company or a public limited liability company.
  • The type of product that the business is expecting to be engaged in.
  • You should also mention the vision, mission, goals and objectives of the business.
  • You should state reasons for wanting to establish the business.

Business Location

Students are required to state at least five reasons why the location of the business was selected.

Factors Mix

Students are to state the appropriate factor mix for the production of the products by the business.  Will the business depend more on labour or more on capital in its production process. Labour intensive production utilizes mainly manual labour along with a limited amount of machinery.  Labour intensive refers to a production process that requires a large amount of labour to produce its goods or services. The measure of labour intensity is usually measured in proportion to the amount of capital required to produce the goods or services.  The higher the proportion of labour costs required, the more labour intensive is the business. 

Capital intensive production refers to the production process that requires large amounts of money and technology to produce a good or service. Capital refers to the equipment, machinery, vehicles and so on that a business uses to make its product or service. Capital-intensive processes are those that require a relatively high level of capital investment compared to the labour cost. A business is considered to be capital-intensive based on the ratio of the capital required to the amount of labour that is required.

Market research

The business will need quality and reliable information to inform its decision regarding the selection of the production for introduction to the market and the need to establish a business entity to do so.  The business owners will be required to conduct the required market research in order to obtain such information.  The market research can be either of a primary nature or secondary nature.

Primary research is defined as factual, firsthand accounts of the study written by a person who was part of the study. The methods vary on how researchers run an experiment or study, but it typically follows the scientific method. One way you can think of primary research is that it is typically original research.  Primary information comes straight from the original source, in other words it is made up of original documents and raw data.  Secondary research is defined as an analysis and interpretation of primary research or data that already exists.  Secondary market research is people use previously completed studies and apply the results to your own situation. A good example is information from the internet or from books and journals.

Source of Funding

No business can function without finance.  The sources of finance needs to be explained and forms a critical part of the business plan.  Sources of finance can be in the form of loans, savings or equity where investors are invited to purchase shares in the business.  Along with sources of finance comes forecasting of the financial position of the business or future funding. It is important for there to be a projection of profits for the first five of existence of the business.


Students should be able to answer the following question in this sections:

  • What does the customer want from the product or what needs does it satisfy?
  • What features does it have to meet these needs?
  • Are there any features you have missed out?
  • What does it look like? How will customers experience it?


  • What is the value of the product or service to the buyer?
  • Is the customer price sensitive? Will a small decrease in price gain you extra market share?
  • What discounts should be offered to trade customers?
  • How will your price compare with your competitors?


  • Where do buyers look for your product or service?
  • How can you access the right distribution channels?
  • Do you need to use a sales force? Or send samples to catalogue companies?


  • Where and when can you get your marketing messages across to your target market?
  • Will you reach your audience by advertising online, in the press, on TV, on radio, or on billboards? On the Internet?
  • When is the best time to promote? Is there seasonality in the market?
  • How do your competitors do their promotions? And how does that influence your choice of promotional activity?


Who will be your customers?  What will be your market segment?

Consumer Behaviour/ Complaints

  • Satisfied customers are critical to the success of the business. Students must be able to identify in their report those factors that can influence customers’ behavior or demand or lack of demand for the product of the business. 
  • It is also very important for the business to have mechanisms in place to influence customers and reduce the need for complaints from customers about the product.

Ethical Issues

Unethical business behaviors damage productivity and living standards. Such practices also affect social, as well as environmental, degradation that results in damage to many aspects of society, which results in lack of trust. Businesses have become increasingly competitive and the value of products and their manufacturers has gone far beyond price-per-unit or the function they perform.  Understanding business ethics provides a way for businesses to resolve ethical issues. 

Business owners are required to obey all legislation concerning the operations of a business. There are various pieces of legislation which govern businesses which businesses must comply with to prevent disorder.  Some of these laws include laws to protect customers including regarding integrity in marketing and advertising of products.  If these laws are not upheld, then the purpose of the business will be effectively delivered.

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