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“Entrepreneurship education is a growing trend in education and a part of the curriculums at all levels of education. It is used to reinforce people’s skills, information, and attitudes that they need to succeed in the global economy and the changing working life.” (European Commission)

The JA Company Program combines theory and practice for the purpose of learning entrepreneurial skillscompetencies and attitude. The program provides educational institutions a turnkey solution for entrepreneurship education and the students a fun and practical tool for learning entrepreneurship and working life skills.

The JA Company Program is available to upper comprehensive schools, secondary education establishments, and higher education institutions.

Within the program, the participants establish, alone or as part of a group, a JA company that operates using real money, which they run for a semester, a school year, a calendar year or a period of 12 months.

Program in numbers 2018 - 2019

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Learning Outcomes of the Program

  • The student recognizes the requirements of entrepreneurship and is able to evaluate their own strengths and areas that require development
  • The student develops their entrepreneurship skills, which include sales, teamwork, problem solution, communication, and public speaking, among others
  • The student builds cooperation networks that can further their business operations
  • The student recognizes and evaluates their operation within the company as part of a team
  • The student is able to plan the business operation of the company
  • The student is able to use tools related to the planning of business operations and to draw up the documents related to establishing a company
  • The student can create a business model and plan to support their idea, as well as develop them during the operation
  • The student understands the basic principles of business and develops the operation of the company

Content in the e-learning environment Twid

Mandatory modules of the program

  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

Extra modules

  • Pitching & Presenting
  • Circular economy

How?

  • The program is made part of the education provided by the school and the teacher is in charge of its practical implementation.
  • The program can be carried out over a semester, a school year, a calendar year or a period of 12 months.
  • The program has a participant-specific registration fee (€25), which includes insurance, among other things.
  • JA Finland provides an online learning platform for the teachers and participants, along with national competitions and events.

Impact

I learned how to take responsibility 82 %
Importance of an entrepreneurial attitude 77 %
My own initiative increased 74 %
My teamwork skills improved 68 %
The program provided a realistic experience of entrepreneurship 59 %
I understood the value of my work 58 %
I learned how to use money 55 %
Strengthened my employability skills 54 %
I plan to start a company after the program 12 %

Extracts from the program’s primary and secondary feedback survey averages from 2013 to 2018 (N: 2962).

Uskalla Yrittää!

Uskalla Yrittää is the Finnish Championship for the companies in the JA Company Program organized by JA Finland. Each year, the best Finnish JA companies from the regional semi-finals are invited to participate in the final. The Uskalla Yrittää final is the largest entrepreneurship competition for young people in Finland, and the winners get the chance to represent their country in the European Championship. The website for the Uskalla Yrittää competition can be found at www.uskallayrittaa.fi.

Winners 2019

“We bag people’s groceries and help carry heavy bags to the customer’s car. Avot NY exemplifies Finnish customer service at its best.”

“We produce home decor products from concrete and wood. Some of the materials we use come as surplus from construction sites.”

”We want to create a detour from the self-destructive textile industry to more conscious consuming. We offer customers high-end design products that are made from new sustainable material innovations.”

Companies that began their operation in the JA Company Program

Entis

Entis NY was established during the JA Company Program in 2017 and won the Uskalla Yrittää final for higher education institutions. The company sells house crickets farmed in Kurikka for consumption. The company’s Entis cricket chocolate was the first widely available commercial foodstuff made with Finnish house crickets.

Today, products from Entis’ expanded cricket product range are available at the largest Prisma supermarkets, the eco-store Ruohonjuuri, and their own webstore.

“All in all, the program was a very educational experience! Even good ideas in themselves are not enough but doing things and realizing your ideas are the most important things. The best parts of the program were doing things together, the excitement of the team and the new possibilities and opportunities provided by the program.”

www.entis.fi

Tihkuna

“How to recycle broken umbrellas?”
This problem gave birth to a company run by two dressmaking students. A solution was found, and the company’s first product was in fact the Tihkuna jacket made from broken umbrellas. In the spring of 2019, the company’s range has expanded to include such products as trendy hair scrunchies, which are also made from surplus materials.

“Tihkuna is run by two dressmaking students who are concerned about the environmental impact of the fashion industry. Our company’s most important values are environmental friendliness, quality, and functionality. We design the products, create the patterns, and sew them ourselves here in Helsinki. We manufacture our products on a zero-waste principal, which means that nothing is thrown in the trash.”

In the Uskalla Yrittää final, Tihkuna was awarded the prize for the best company presentation at the upper secondary level, as well as the Taaleri Special Award.

The Great Escape

As part of the JA Company Program organized by JA Finland, four students from Kajaani University of Applied Sciences developed and created an escape room, which proved highly successful. Even at an early stage the escape room had attracted more than one hundred visiting groups.

The Great Escape was named the best higher education company in the Uskalla Yrittää Finnish Championship finals in the spring of 2016. This year, the company is expanding its operation by doubling the area of its escape room in Kajaani and by opening a new branch in Vuokatti.

“You really get the chance to try everything. We have seen so many things from different areas of business and learnt so much. Teamwork skills are the most important thing, as well as working together dynamically. There have been some tough times as well, but we have always gotten past them together. Each of us has become braver.”

www.thegreatescape.fi

Puuroboi

After some hiccups, the overnight oats company Puuroboi was established by upper secondary school students who participated in the JA Company Program in 2016 inspired by the Finland 100 event. After all, oatmeal is a very typical Finnish food. After a few unsuccessful test batches, things began to fall in place both in the kitchen and outside of it.

The business took off with the help of social media marketing. The young entrepreneurs advertised on Instagram and Facebook and shared their story on their website. In the spring of 2017, the company gained more exposure and sales through JA Finland’s Uskalla Yrittää competition and events.

“With Puuroboi, we participated in various business events that always opened new opportunities for us. We took part in such events as Slush and the Job Shadow Day organized by JA Finland, both of which were really amazing experiences with regard to the contacts provided and the general entrepreneurial atmosphere.”

Kiffel 

Jenni Parpala established her cleaning company Kiffel when she took part in the JA Company Program in 2013. At Kiffel, the employees come first, and the company promises, among other things, to halve domestic disagreements, as 45% of couples argue about cleaning the house. The company aims to ensure that the employees have the chance to complete their work properly, with sufficient time, and with pride.

“My company was conceived in JA Finland’s program in 2013, which culminated in being awarded the prizes for the Best Seller and the Best Service. Since then I have continued to develop my company further.”

www.kiffel.fi

Boordigolf

Viljami Virta took part in the JA Company Program at his school in Harjavalta with the business idea of selling reclaimed lake balls. This refers to golf balls lost by golfers in water hazards or other places around the course. Viljami pays divers to retrieve the balls from water hazards and sells them at an affordable price in his online store.

During their first year of operations, Boordigolf sold approximately 70,000–80,000 golf balls and in the spring of 2019 had received reservations for approximately 70,000 balls. Demand for the service exists throughout Europe.

www.boordigolf.fi

Noted JA Company Program alumni in Finland and around the world

Jyri Lindén: The founder of the Nordic Business Forum

Sanni Kurkisuo: Singer, songwriter, musician

Enni Rukajärvi: Snowboarder

Mark Cuban: Investor, the founder of Broadcast.com, the owner of Dallas Mavericks

Frederick A. Deluca: The founder and CEO of Subway

Christina Aguilera: Singer, songwriter, actor

Gene Simmons: Musician and lead figure of the rock group Kiss, actor, businessman

JA Finland (Nuori Yrittäjyys ry, NY) is part of the international Junior Achievement (JA) network.

Today, the umbrella organization operates in 113 countries of six continents.

Each year, its programs reach more than 10,000,000 children and youths around the world.

Junior Achievement celebrates its centenary in 2019.

Some comments on the JA Company Program

“I just wish that something like this had existed when I was at that age.”

– Ilkka Paananen, Supercell

“This is the reason I became a teacher. 
To see young people succeed and surpass themselves.”

– Heini Pennanen, Gradia, Jyväskylä

“I have probably learned most about the financial side. 
I have learned to present and challenge myself more. Now I am better prepared to act in these situations.

– Milla Tölli, student, Nivala upper secondary school

“Today, entrepreneurship education is included in all degrees, at all levels of education, at least to some extent. But is it sufficient? Not necessarily, it could always be increased and improved. This [JA Company Program] is just one good example and method that should be spread throughout the country.”

– Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, Minister of Education

Would you like to implement the program at your education establishment?

Teacher, leave us your contact information or contact our specialists. We will be happy to tell you more about the JA Company Program and its implementation.

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The JA Company Program is a study program offered by JA Finland. JA Finland provides programs that support the objectives of curriculums for reinforcing the entrepreneurial attitudes, working life skills, and personal financial management of children and young people from pre-primary to higher education – learning by doing. www.nuoriyrittajyys.fi.

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