Starting a Business

three men sitting while using laptops and watching man beside whiteboard
Type: Vocabulary
Originally published on May 11, 2023 and last updated on May 13, 2023

Starting a business is a great topic for English learners to discuss. It helps improve language skills and covers important areas like innovation, strategy, and success. Talking about the challenges, risks and rewards of entrepreneurship helps learners practice vocabulary related to business.

These conversations questions also encourage critical thinking and problem-solving as learners think about real-life scenarios and share their own ideas.

Go through the vocabulary below with your students and ask them to try and use this vocabaulry where possible when discussing the different conversation questions.

Why People Start a Business

People start businesses for different reasons, such as seeking financial independence or pursuing their passions. However, starting a business comes with challenges. Securing funding, creating a strong business plan, attracting customers and competing in the market are common obstacles.

Managing resources efficiently, making smart financial decisions and adapting to changes are also ongoing challenges. Despite these difficulties, starting a business can offer opportunities for personal growth, innovation, financial gain and the pursuit of success.

Useful Vocabulary

Try and use the following vocabulary when answering the question. Click to look up the definition in the dictionary

  • startup (noun)
  • profitable (adjective)
  • launch (verb)
  • entrepreneur (noun)
  • risky (adjective)
  • funding (noun)
  • figure out (phrasal verb)
  • break even (phrase)
  • competition (noun)

Conversation Questions

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  • Have you ever thought about starting your own business? Why or why not?
  • What qualities do you think a successful entrepreneur should have?
  • How important is market research when starting a business? Why?
  • What are some common challenges entrepreneurs face when starting a business?
  • Do you think it's better to start a business alone or with a partner? Why?
  • What are some strategies to attract customers to a new business?
  • Do you think technology has increased the amount of people wanting to start their own business?
  • Is it better to start a business from scratch or buy an existing business?
  • Should government regulations for starting a business be more relaxed or stricter?
  • If you had unlimited resources, what type of business would you start?
  • What role does innovation play in the success of a business?
  • If you were to start a business in a foreign country, which country would you choose and why?
  • Do you think it's important for entrepreneurs to have a formal education in business?
  • Are small businesses or large corporations more beneficial to the economy?
  • Would you say it's better to focus on a niche market or have a broader target audience when starting a business?
  • Should government provide financial support and incentives for new businesses?
  • If you could choose any mentor in the world to guide you in starting a business, who would it be and why?
  • Is it necessary for entrepreneurs to take risks in order to succeed?
  • Do you think it's more challenging to start a business in a rural area or in a metropolitan city?
  • If you were to start a business in a completely different industry than your current expertise, which industry would it be?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.