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A Year as an Entrepreneur - the JA Company Program

location_on Finland

Tool that combines both theory and learning by doing for delivering entrepreneurship education.

The program provides an educational institution a ready-made solution for teaching entrepreneurship, financial and working life skills and a fun and practical tool for students to learn. In the program students set up a student company (JA company) that operates with real money. This is supported by online learning platform for theory parts of the program.

Finland 100
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Overview

HundrED has selected this innovation to

Finland 100

Web presence

1995

Established

-

Children/users

1

Countries
Organisation
Not-for-profit
Target group
Teachers
Updated
November 22nd, 2022
In the JA Company Program students can put their ideas into practice and learn the skills needed in working life through learning-by-doing that is supported by online learning material.

About the innovation

Tool that combines theory and learning by doing

The Junior Achievement's Company Program offers students from upper levels of comprehensive school up to university the opportunity to learn how to turn a business idea into reality. The program provides teachers with practical material on business, economics and entrepreneurship activities. It is a great way to help students succeed in a global economy.

By challenging the students to launch and run their own business, the JA Company Program unleashes their entrepreneurial spirit. Students experience running their own company and discover first-hand how a company functions as well as gain insight into how their talents could be used further in working life.

The aim of the JA Company Program is to enable students to start their own real-life business and discover how a company functions in a learning-by-doing environment.

In addition to the learning-by-doing, the program is supported by an online learning environment created by Junior Achievement Finland. Learning environment currently has 22 different modules covering different parts of business development, entrepreneurship and finance. All these support students in running their JA company as well as giving them skills and competences for future. 

Teacher's role in the program is to be the facilitator of learning and enabler of learning experiences. JA Finland has developed ready-made material for teacher to use in the classroom.

JA Company Program and all of its material are available in three languages in Finland: Finnish, Swedish and English.

Junior Achievement Finland is a part of the global Junior Achievement network, which is one of the largest providers of education programs for entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy, reaching over 10 million students in over 100 countries. The JA Company Program is a Junior Achievement’s program.

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability

Innovativeness

The model aims to turn ideas into practice by teaching valuable entrepreneurial skills.

Impact

Students learn multidisciplinary professional skills and skills needed in the future.

Scalability

A Year as an Entrepreneur is an open program for everyone. Participation requires merely the institution's decision to begin the program.

Implementation steps

Get inspired and plan a JA Company Program for your school!
Would you like to inspire and challenge your students in creating their own ventures based on original ideas?

Each JA Company Program correlates with the national standards and school system of each country. To get inspired, have a look at one of the Finnish case examples from the JA Company Program!

 

The program steps
  1. The teacher takes part in a JA training program.
  2. The teacher registers for the course to access the learning material.
  3. The program is implemented into the school curriculum as an optional course
  4. The learning begins! Students receive an introduction to entrepreneurship, the planning process, the financial market, etc.
  5. Students use the e-learning platform to learn the theory of entrepreneurship, economics and business development before setting up their own JA Company.
  6. After brainstorming and validating ideas, they choose to implement one as their JA company.
  7. Students  define ‘house rules’ for working together by doing a cooperation agreement within their own company.
  8. Students create a business model, business plan and a plan of action and schedule, i.e. lay the foundation for their venture and develop a business strategy.
  9. Students pair up with a business for real world experience.
  10. Students write an annual and quarterly report.
  11. Students look into the potential to continue their venture past the school year.
Online learning environment supporting theory learning

Program has an online learning environment that supports learning during the program. Program also has ready-made presentations for teachers to use in the classroom.

Contents in the learning environment

  1. Welcome to the Program
  2. Introduction to Entrepreneurship 
  3. Competence 
  4. Team 
  5. Finding a Business Idea 
  6. Modeling a Business Idea 
  7. Name and Logo 
  8. Starting a Business 
  9. Business Plan 
  10. Marketing
  11. Digital Marketing
  12. Social Media Marketing
  13. Introduction to Finance
  14. Cost and Profitability Accounting
  15. Budgeting & Bookkeeping
  16. Taxation
  17. Risks and Safety
  18. Sales and Customer Service
  19. Conclusion of the Program
  20. Pitching & Presenting 
  21. Circular Economy
  22. Sustainable Business Activities

All modules (except 7 & 13) have 1-3 learning assignments that support the development of entrepreneurial skills.

Support Powerpoints for teachers

  1. Program introduction
  2. Introduction to entrepreneurship
  3. Competence
  4. Schedules & goals
  5. Team
  6. Business idea 1
  7. Business idea 2
  8. Name & logo
  9. Innovation
  10. Roles
  11. Setting up a JA company
  12. Finances and accounts
  13. Business plan
  14. Pitching & presenting
  15. Pitch deck

Participating in competitions and events

In Finland the program has 15 regional trade fair events from January to March as well as four online competitions. The national competition is called Uskalla Yrittää, which is the most significant entrepreneurship competition for young people in Finland.

JA companies can participate in international events competitions that are organized annually. At the competitions students will be able to showcase their products and companies in a variety of ways.

Contact your local JA Company Program providers
If you wish to implement the JA Company Program in your school outside Finland,  please contact your local Junior Achievement organization.

All European organizations are listed HERE and globally, you can find the organizations HERE.

Each country’s program teaches students the same entrepreneurial skill set, however, the structure may slightly vary depending on your provider. Teachers teaching the program will receive material and support from their JA provider.

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