Entrepreneurship Education

JA  programs demonstrate to students the value of an education, bridge the gap of what they are learning in the classroom with the real world, and equip them with the skills and tools they need to be more successful in school and their future careers.

Our programs prepare students to proactively manage their finances, become entrepreneurs, and develop skills that will be recognized and valuable in a global workforce.

JA programs aim to prepare young people for adult professional life and the world of work. With curricula drawn from out global network of over 120 countries, the programs help youth become job creators for themselves and others as entrepreneurs, to get jobs and keep jobs, to make healthy financial decisions from when they earn money to what they do with it thereafter.

“JA was a life changing experience it was for me, as I was exposed to a higher level of education which made me acquire more knowledge through brainstorming and collaboration with people from different fields, backgrounds and beliefs.”

Oluwasegun Adesanya, Nigeria

THE COMPANY PROGRAM

JA Company Program provides introductory economic education for high school students by allowing them to organize and operate an actual business. Students not only learn how businesses function, they also learn soft skills that are instrumental to success; such as brainstorming, consensus building, critical reading, gathering and organizing information, group and self-assessment, Interpreting production inventory, oral and written communication.

Volunteers from the local business community employ a variety of hands-on activities and technological supplements to challenge students to use innovative thinking. The business skills that students learn in this after-school program will prove valuable as they begin to consider higher education and career choices.

Students work in groups within their schools and classrooms to develop business ideas, test them in markets, start and run businesses throughout the school year, all the while being coaches by professionals who volunteer in the program.

Students compete at the end of the year nationally and the winners go on to compete at the Regional Company of the Year Competition.


ITS TYME (Immersion Training Strategy; Targeting Young Marginalized Entrepreneurs)

ITS TYME is a hands on, highly impactful immersion training program that provides life skills, business education, mentoring and access to finance and industry specific apprenticeship opportunities to marginalized African youth!  

The ITS TYME experience enhances the ability of young semi-literate young men and women in Africa to acquire business skills and use innovative thinking to expand and enhance their career options and livelihoods. Since 2012, JA Africa has delivered the ITS TYME program in five countries – Gabon, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

In collaboration with a wide range of partner organizations, the program has trained over 6000 out-of-school youth, mobilized hundreds of volunteer facilitators and business executives to mentor African youth and facilitate their access to the real world of business! Over 700 businesses have also been established under this program.

Building on the successful school-based JA Company Program, ITS TYME takes entrepreneurship training out of the classroom and into the African marketplace, motor parks, slums, sports arenas and other centers of youth activity with a mission to equip young people with the practical, strategic and tactical tools they need to become financially self-sufficient and active contributors to the social, economic and political life of their communities.

Building on the successful school-based JA Company Program, ITS TYME takes entrepreneurship training out of the classroom and into the African marketplace, motor parks, slums, sports arenas and other centers of youth activity with a mission to equip young people with the practical, strategic and tactical tools they need to become financially self-sufficient and active contributors to the social, economic and political life of their communities.

WHY ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION

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Africa’s economies are not creating as many jobs as the schools are graduating students. Every year, approximately 11 million young people enter the workforce, competing for approximately 3 million jobs created. The gap of 8 million is wide and growing. Consequently, it takes the average young person up to six years to find their first job. In order to cope with this reality young people often become entrepreneurs by default, rather than by design. To help these young entrepreneurs to be successful in business, it is important that they receive the tools, skills and knowledge that they need to understand business.

Unfortunately, few children receive entrepreneurship education as part of their mainstream education curricula. Business training is not typically an offering until students reach their tertiary education, and less than 10% of the continent’s youth reach that level of education.

Furthermore, by the time they reach that level of education, young people have typically been influenced by parents, social messaging and others to become risk averse and consider entrepreneurship too risky a career path to pursue. Nurturing entrepreneurial mindsets early can stave off this tendency. Nurturing entrepreneurial mindsets requires supporting better exposure to entrepreneurship that African students can relate to and providing students with more hands on experience starting businesses and working in industries that could grow. This project has the potential to do that; beginning with a small cohort of children in selected countries.

Entrepreneurship is an important avenue for job creation outside the formal economy as well. There is a missing middle in the conversation around entrepreneurship in Africa. In order to solve the employment problem in Africa, mass entrepreneurship will be have to be a significant part of the solution. Given the low levels of investment, there is a significant opportunity to support mass entrepreneurship to provide better jobs and livelihoods to many people.

Junior Achievement has developed a youth entrepreneurship model as the launching pad for a pipeline approach that sets young people up on a pathway to successful entrepreneurship as well as improve their enterprise skills and self-employment as they seek a sustainable livelihood. Young people experience significant challenges in a bid to learn about, establish and manage enterprises. These include lack of formal business knowledge, training, experience, decreased access to capital and resources and lower levels of initial capitalization. Through this program, young people will be given an introduction to entrepreneurship in order to de-mystify the enterprise-creation process. JA implements an integrated model for entrepreneurship training where participants gain business management skills through mentorship by successful business people and the private sector. Young people acquire business financial knowledge, managing finances, record keeping, ethics, costing and pricing principles. This helps to make youth entrepreneurship effective.

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